Monday, July 11, 2005

OMR Expansion Project

I noticed more buildings that have been pulled down either fully or partially because of the OMR expansion project. I found it pretty funny to see a building that was literally torn in half where the whole front part of the building was gone with the rear left standing. It had weird wall formations where previously other rooms existed and also found a staircase that ended halfway to be hilarious. I remembered “Punnu da Dhaba” further down on ECR which had markings right through the dining area indicating they are which was to be demolished. Most buildings on the stretch had similar markings already or surveyors were in the process of measuring the stipulated distances from the road and making the markings.

The whole project seems to be a good idea but the implementation of the project seems to bother me on a couple of fronts. Firstly it doesn’t seem to be done with too much planning or the planning was done but not fully thought out. I welcome the fencing off of the construction areas on Canal bank road near Madhya Kailash to prevent people from either walking through or driving through a potentially hazardous area. Good think there. It works there as the road there that is still available for motorists is wide enough to allow traffic without any incident. But when the same fencing off is done near NIFT just past TIDEL & ELNET it doesn’t seem like it was done with much thought or planning or they just used a different scale to measure the road space left. The whole stretch there now is a multiple accident waiting to happen (if it has not happened already) as the road is not the width of a regular two lane road but is more like a one and a half lane road. One and three fourth if one is in a generous mood. End result the drive down that stretch is a little scary as oncoming traffic which should be going in the other direction appears to be directly heading for you with millimeters to spare when the do hurtle past.

The other thing that bothers me a lot is the stretch past Sathyabama College/University where one half of the road is just blocked off but not much seems to be done by way of work there. So what are the motorists forced to do? Drive at high speeds on the same half of the roadway! People who drive down the stretch every day realize this is happening and stick to the edges of the road on their respective sides but there are some congenital idiots and morons and of course people driving down the road for the first time who believe in overtaking the motorists going at the sides of the road smack into oncoming traffic. I finish typing this up and walk over to some colleagues sitting with grim faces to hear that a couple of our company employees were injured in an accident on this very stretch last night on their way home. Just at the spot where the road is closed and motorists are made to share the same half of the road, cars etc are forced to almost a full stop and then take a 90 degree right hand turn. At this spot the cab was stuck behind a truck carrying metal rods. The truck driver was not able to make the turn and so started backing up and of course the cabbie drives straight into it. End result, one dislocated/fractured jaw and at least one person with pretty serious head injuries. Full details stil not available yet. It was almost like in a movie say eyewitnesses where the metal bars came all the way into the car. I rest my case as I now have proof that the whole thing wasn’t thought out well. It would have made more sense to have signs posted well ahead warning of the sharp turn required ahead and even post signs advising of a speed reduction required. Also if the motorists whose lane of travel is being usurped were warned up ahead, many surprised and confused motorists would have an idea of what was going on when they notice a whole bunch of drivers coming at them in the wrong side of the road.

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