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Outer Ring Road may ease traffic woes in Mysore

By Our Staff Correspondent


MYSORE, FEB. 13. The Outer Ring Road (ORR), which is to be inaugurated on Saturday, is expected to ease traffic congestion and divert a large number of heavy vehicles going out of the city.

The ORR project is being implemented by the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) at an estimated cost of Rs. 40 crore.

The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Absence of a ring road and the delay in completing the current project had led to chaos on the traffic front in the past few years.

A large number of goods carriers and trucks were forced to pass through the heart of the city, adding to the pollution.

The problem was worse especially near the Old RMC Yard and Bannimantap leading to Bangalore Road, and pollution caused by automobiles in the city centre was perceived to be higher than in other areas of Mysore.

This was corroborated by the findings of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, which pointed out that the dust content in air in the city centre was abnormally high.

Besides the environmental factor, the Outer Ring Road was also perceived as necessary to improve the intra-city transportation system. In the absence of a ring road, the authorities could not hope to operate a circular service.

The Outer Ring Road is divided into eastern alignment, meandering around Chamundi Hills, and the longer western alignment that cuts across the industrial suburbs of Metagalli, Hootagalli and H.D. Kote Road before linking up with the eastern alignment stretch and merges with the Mysore-Ooty Road.

While the western alignment is 25 km. long, the eastern alignment is 7.5 km. in length and is meant for vehicles proceeding towards Tamil Nadu and Kerala from Bangalore. But the western alignment is expected to handle more traffic from the industrial estates of Metagalli and Hootagalli and these vehicles can bypass Mysore city.

According to MUDA, at least 50 per cent of the incoming vehicles from Bangalore are forced to ply through the city centre in the absence of an Outer Ring Road all these years. But the western alignment itself has come under criticism as it passes through the fast expanding residential areas of Datagalli and Bogadi, and is close to Hinkal. The entire region is thickly populated and the vehicles cannot have free passage without posing a risk to the residents.

It was suggested that the alignment be shifted further west by a couple of kilometres so as to bypass the residential areas. But it was not heeded.

The project remained a non-starter for many years due to various reasons. The original alignment proposed by MUDA bisected the Lingambudhi Lake and hence posed a threat to the water body, and was therefore opposed by citizens.

An Environmental Impact Assessment vindicated the stand of the citizens and a new alignment was suggested.

Hence, MUDA had to realign a part of the Outer Ring Road and the lake, which is spread over 165 acres and is a habitat for over 200 species of rare birds, was saved.

The revised alignment links up with the Vishwamanava Double Road near Ramakrishna Nagar. But the project ran into rough weather as MUDA had problems in land acquisition which further delayed the process.

As a result, the original cost of the project which was Rs.18 crore escalated to Rs. 40 crore.

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