The NICE long wait

Want to know the real difference between India and China? Come with me on a drive. Venture 6 kilometers out on Kanakpura road from Banashankari bus stand and you will find an intersection under construction for the famous NICE peripheral expressway. No, don’t make a right here, that stretch towards Mysore road has been smooth and quick for a few months now, and is simply the best road to drive on around Bangalore today.
Head left instead. The signs will invite you onto an expressway towards Banerghatta road. Do 100-120 kmph for a few minutes and another sign will appear to warn about the Banerghatta road exit. However, one super-hard brake later, you will see “it” – an orchard full of coconut trees right on the expressway! Thankfully, this copybook definition of a dead end has a pebbled bypass around this property to get you onto Banerghatta road.

A very Indian amalgam of semi-urban development, planning, politics, freedom and democracy. Isn’t it?

Anyways. The story has it that this strip of land has been under acquisition related litigation for a long time now. If you go by the builders selling apartments on NICE peripheral expressway, it seems NICE has almost won the case and it is only a matter of time before that orchard gives way. If not for this blob, the expressway could take you from Mysore road to Banerghatta road in about 15 minutes, and further onto Hosur Road in 10 more. Hopefully soon!
Meanwhile, as NICE toils to complete this tolled peripheral road halfway around Bangalore, BDA is planning a free peripheral road which, at places is only a few hundred meters away from its tolled cousin.

I like this hedged development plan for roads. But think of this. NICE peripheral road runs around south Bangalore from Tumkur Road to Hosur Road. Instead of developing yet another peripheral road, why can’t BDA cancel its south bend plans, and instead pay NICE to complete the circle (north bend from Tumkur Road to Hosur Road)? Pay up a bit more to NICE, and perhaps cut the toll down to zero on this expressway! Won’t that make more economic sense?

Instead, I see my local government building competition for NICE roads. I like competition, so long as it is a fair game. But is it? Ever wondered why the Bangalore Mysore state highway went from 2 lanes to a smooth 4, and is going to a smoother 6 without much ado, while a project conceived way back in 1989 is struggling to completion?

6 Comments so far

  1. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 6th, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

    Completely true, the fairness of competition and the options of developement are so much influenced for personal and political gains that common man struggles for centuries and thus the country with more than half of it’s population BPL, below poverty line still does not have asingle polititian being at the BPL level as everyone seems to have leveraged themselves …

  2. Arun (unregistered) on January 7th, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

    Silkboard: as far as I know this road is not open to public unlike the Kanakapura-Mysore road stretch. That should explain the dead end. I guess you should have been a bit weary while driving on a road that is not yet open! :) But they should have put a no trespassing board in the first place and ensured that no curious folks drive in and injure themselves.

  3. silkboard (unregistered) on January 7th, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

    Arun, it is open. They tell you it ends just before BG road. But I expected work in full swing at the ‘dead’ end. Never knew the expressway ended in a coconut grove. What a contrast that dead end has. One neatly painted and smooth expressway, and coconut trees and huts bang on it.

  4. Scarlet Pimpernel (unregistered) on January 8th, 2007 @ 1:15 am

    I think NICE had promised completion on december end 2006. Seeing this post, I am curious when this will be finished.

    I also read in the newspapers that women from IT companies in electronics city have successfully influenced the concerned authorities to finish these roads.

    I think so far as newspapers and media are concerned these roads are done – maybe their aim is to divert the public attention away from these roads. Why waste newsprint.

    So far as BDA goes – I think they are foreseeing (like nostradamus) that the NICE road will get traffic jams just like Hosur road. So instead of another elevated Highway on NICE road they are acquiring lands to make a parallel road. They are learning from past mistakes, I think, remember Hosur road does not have parallel roads.
    I feel the free road clause can be changed to tolled road when the road is reaching completion, who wants to say goodbye to revenue. Or better still it could be a land acquisition gimmick – later sites can be auctioned at mint prices.

  5. silkboard (unregistered) on January 21st, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

    After reading and asking around a bit more, I figured this may be the famous Gottigere lake area. Whether to bypass this ‘lake’, or to build a road on pillars over it is the debate going on here. NICE says the pillars would anyway kill most of the ‘lake’. State Govt says build the pillars, we cant offer more land to you.

  6. wonder (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2007 @ 11:43 am

    @Scarlet Pimpernel
    “women from IT companies in electronics city have successfully influenced …”

    How ??

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.