DULT contemplates allowing other types of vehicles on 5 km of bus lane
With Namma Metro work on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) under way, allowing other vehicles on the Bus Priority Lane (BPL) between Silk Board to Iblur will become inevitable. However, on the rest of the ORR – from Iblur to Lowry School – city buses will continue to use the lane.
The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) is studying the impact of metro work on the movement of traffic on the 19 km stretch of the ORR by involving stakeholders like BMTC, BMRCL, the Traffic police and the BBMP.
Commissioner of DULT V. Manjula said that from Silk Board to Iblur, due to the narrow stretch, the construction of piers will impact the BPL. She said that on a stretch of 5 km, DULT is contemplating allowing other types of vehicles, including passenger ones, private buses carrying company employees, and cars on the BPL. Allowing other types of vehicles on BPL may be required for a period of four to five months. BMRCL is barricading 8.7 meters of land on the median of the road. However, she added, “From Iblur to Lowry School, there are absolutely no issues. Buses will using BPL and mixed traffic will use other lanes on this stretch.”
The DULT asked the BMRCL not to take up construction at one go; instead it has been asked to construct piers on the median and then take up construction of metro stations. As per the plan, the BMRCL will build more than 700 piers on the stretch from Silk Board to K.R. Puram.
Ms. Manjula said that the BMRCL is building the stations at seven to eight locations between Iblur and Lowry School. In those locations, temporary changes will be made to make the BPL functional and everything will be reinstated after the completion of the work.
To decongest the road, the DULT has asked the companies located on the ORR to arrange for buses for transportation of employees and discourage use of personal cars. The BMTC has been asked to run buses with higher frequency. She also maintained that the cycle lane located on the ORR will not get impacted by metro work.
Incidentally, recently, E.V. Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Electronics, IT&BT, issued an advisory from the State government asking IT companies, especially those located on ORR, to extend the work-from-home option for most of the employees till December, 2022.
“The metro work has begun on the median of the ORR. On some stretches, there will be an impact on the movement of vehicles. At present, only buses are being allowed to ply on the priority lane. Allowing autorickshaws and taxis would help in the easy flow of traffic wherever there is constraint.” said Joint Commissioner (traffic) B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda.
He also said that local traffic police are working on traffic diversion to facilitate the metro work. The metro construction will create bottlenecks near the flyover. BMRCL has been asked to provide marshals to man traffic on the stretch to work along with the traffic police.
Ravishankar P., a commuter, said, “It is high time the BPL should be allowed for other vehicles so that bikes and cars can move on the other lanes. The authorities concerned should come out with a comprehensive plan before the large-scale constructions happen on this busy stretch.”
On the other hand, many also say allowing other types of vehicles on BPL will defeat the purpose of building the lane. Vijaykumar, who regularly uses city buses on the stretch, said, “The BMTC must increase the frequency of the buses so that more people shift to public transport. During the construction of the road, the BMRCL should make sure that roads are maintained in good condition.”
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