The Namma Metro expansion in Bengaluru has hit the Central Business District in the city, making the arterial MG Road and Cubbon Road a traffic nightmare for motorists. Since construction work began last Saturday, a 200m section connecting Brigade Road (MG Road Cauvery Emporium) to Cubbon Road Junction has been blocked. As a result, what would have taken minutes has now increased travel time for motorists by at least 15 minutes for those travelling from Cubbon Road to MG Road and vice versa.
But there’s no respite in store any time soon. The 200m stretch on Kamaraj Road will be closed until March 2023, when the Namma Metro line is expected to be ready. During this four-year period parking vehicles on MG Road and Brigade Road will be banned. The road closure has paralysed the traffic flow in a good part of the central business district of the city. Traffic police officials said the cascading effects of this blockage can be felt as far as Shivajinagar and Residency Road in either side.
Tunneling work on the Kamaraj Road has begun for the construction of a new station as part of the Metro Phase II (Reach 6)) Gottigere-Nagavara Line. The underground station on Kamaraj Road will connect to the existing MG Road station.
The Traffic Police Department has also created some diversions to accommodate vehicles which would otherwise use the Kamaraj Road. For the next four years, all vehicles travelling towards Shivajinagar from Trinity can take a right turn only at Anil Kumble Circle instead of the Kamaraj Road.
Similarly, motorists heading from MG Road towards Trinity Circle will also be redirected to enter Central Street towards BRV junction. Meanwhile, vehicles coming from BRV junction side towards MG Road have to come via the Manipal Centre on Cubbon Road and take the Webbs Junction before entering MG Road.
These diversions will also affect BMTC bus routes as buses won’t be allowed to access Murphy Road at the Anjaneya Temple junction. Instead, buses have to stick to Swamy Vivekananda Road- Ulsoor Police Station- Trinity Circle- Richmond Road route.
Noted traffic expert and senior engineer MN Sreehari said, “At this point, there is not much the traffic police can do. It is a planning problem which is plaguing the city and this is also an example of the same. At the planning stage, if all the Metro Phase 1 was underground today, they would not have to close this important lifeline of a road. Just to save one-time cost, the government have created this problem.”