Motorists, using alternative routes to bypass ongoing work at the busy Shivananda Circle in the Central Business District have reason to cheer. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is confident of completing work on the 493-metre-long overpass by the end of August.
Several deadlines have passed and the BBMP has not been able to complete work on the overpass that comprises just 16 pillars. Senior civic officials attributed the delay to the 700-mm water pipeline that was “discovered” during the evacuation.
“The pillar work could not be completed since the pipeline had to be shifted. Even the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Supply (BWSSB) officials did not know of the pipeline. It was only after the pipeline was shifted that we could progress,” the official said.
This is not the first instance of lack of coordination between the two civic agencies. Several years ago, during the construction of the magic box flyover in front of Bangalore Development Authority, the civic agencies chanced upon a major water pipeline. Its shifting affected the completion of that project.
BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, who has in the past served as BWSSB chairman, said with many old pipelines still being used in the core city areas, the water board may not have the maps of these pipelines. Utility shifting, thus, becomes a huge challenge during the execution of civil projects.
BBMP officials also added that during the preparation of the Detailed Project Report of any project, the civic body writes to all civic agencies, including BWSSB and Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company, seeking information about their respective utilities at the project site to prepare the estimate of the cost to shift them. “The same process was followed for this project. The BWSSB did not inform us about this pipeline,” they claimed.
BWSSB officials, on the other hand, claimed otherwise. They blamed their counterparts in the civic body for not informing them or coordinating with them during execution of such projects. “We have detailed GIS-based maps of the water and underground drainage pipelines in the city,” they maintained.