Monday, December 18, 2006

One-way thinking

Act and think -- the worst way to do something, but a practice quite routine with Bangalore's civic utilities. It was in evidence again while Cauvery water pipelines were being laid beside the Rail Line Road, near Bypanahalli railway station, East of NGEF, over the last 10 days.

The busy road is broad enough to allow just a bus and a car cross each other. As workers dug up one side, traffic slowed down; and with a bus stop too on that road, lengthy pile-ups and flights of temper became commonplace. After laying the pipes, trenches were covered loosely with soft mud. And the inevitable happened: on two successive days, two lorries had their left wheels sinking into the soil throwing traffic to total chaos.

After days of chaos, it dawned on someone to make the busy road one-way; and a board came up at the U-turn in front of the NGEF. The motorists were relieved, never mind the potholed alternative route through the residential layout.

But interestingly, now after the pipes have been laid and workers have left, the one-way board is still standing. Only the motorists new to the area are taking the potholed diversion.

Why the one-way sign still? Only the teashop owner in the vicinity seems to know: "They are making use of this chance to retar the roads." Wishful thinking?

(Published in The Times of India, Bangalore, Dec 18)

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