BIAL connectivity – upgrade ORR?

If you look at it, the delayed and much hyped BIAL expressway would anyway not solve the connectivity issue. The problem would be in getting to the point in ORR from where BEL Road/NH7 or this expressway would emerge. What you need is quick way for folks to get out from the center or east/south/western corners of the city.

That Minsk Square to Hebbal tunnel road is one such thing. God knows if that project would ever get executed. But there is another, and cheaper option with BBMP/BDA that I think hasn’t been fully explored: Outer Ring Road. The east loop of ORR – the stretch from Silk Board to Hebbal via Marathahalli and Banaswadi – almost throughout, has good space on both sides of the road. Service Roads exist on some stretches, or is being built in the rest. Also, barring a small stretch of about 3-4 km I think in Hennur-Banaswadi area, ORR has six lanes.

It shouldn’t take a lot of money, just need two things on this stretch of ORR.

1) Service roads on both sides of ORR. And fewer entry points from Service Roads into ORR. May be one every 3-4 kilometer.

2) Regular traffic enforcement to make it easy for all to get to Hebbal Flyover. Paint clear lane markers and enforce lane discipline. Ban slower vehicles (autos, tractors) on ORR proper, make them take the Service road. Ban parking on ORR.

With similar measures on BEL road/NH7, and I can bet that you would get to BIAL from Silk Board junction in 50-60 minutes.

How much would it cost? Let us try a guesstimate. You would need 2-3 more flyovers on ORR to bypass crowded intersections. One such big one would be required at K R Puram on Old Madras Road junction, say 70-80 crores. 2 more flyovers in addition to the ones already sanctioned (there are 2 in progress as we speak), add 30 x 2 = 60 crores. Assume Service Road completion to cost 100 crores. Add it all up, you get an almost signal free 30 kilometer stretch of ORR for about Rs 300 crores.

Assuming similar costs to enhance the National Highway from Hebbal to BIAL, you could solve the BIAL connectivity issue to a reasonable extent at an expense of about Rs 600-700 crores.

How does 600 crores compare with Rs 1000 crores+ budgeted for the BIAL expressway? Even if ORR/NH7 enhancements were to cost as much as BIAL expressway would, remember that money spent here is going to help a lot more people than just BIAL air passengers.

Doing above would take much less time than the expressway, and should give BMRC some breathing space to plan and execute a train to BIAL.

What say? Sounds practical or am I dreaming non-sense here?

[Cross posted on Praja-Bangalore, comments off]

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