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Delayed roadwork sparks chaos in Bengaluru’s Commercial Street shopping hub 

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Bengaluru: Ibrahim Sahib Street, a bustling shopping lane located right behind the glitzy Commercial Street, has become a picture of civic neglect. 

The 500-metre stretch, dotted with shops, is getting a white-top, but the work has dragged on for nearly a year now. As a result, the road has been dug up at several places, hampering businesses and causing traffic congestion. 

The onset of the southwest monsoon has only worsened the situation with waterlogging and flooding of homes.

Even as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Smart City authorities are pointing fingers at each other, Shivajinagar MLA Rizwan Arshad vowed to complete the roadwork in 15 days.

Manohar, a 70-year-old resident of the adjacent Venkataswamy Naidu Street, lamented that the authorities had ignored waterlogging in his house and the street. “I have been living here for nearly 50 years now. For the past decade, every time it rains, my house gets flooded. I have tried to bring this to the attention of the authorities. None of them have taken any action to prevent the flooding.” 

Shopkeepers and vendors said navigating Ibrahim Sahib Street is a nightmare, particularly with the onset of the monsoon.

Umair, who helps his brother at La Scents, a perfume store located at the junction of Ibrahim Sahib Street and Narayana Pillai Street, said, “The street is almost always congested. The incomplete works make it worse both for shoppers and vehicle users. My bike, clothes and shoes get muddy. The shop gets very dirty.”

Another shopkeeper attributed the delayed roadwork to the pending transformer work by Bescom. 

However, a Bescom assistant executive engineer insisted that the ongoing transformer work had got nothing to do with incomplete roadworks. He explained that the “special design” works on the Ibrahim Sahib Street transformer intends to place the transformer centre at an elevated height to provide more space for pedestrians.

When DH contacted BBMP Assistant Executive Engineer (Jayamahal) Saifuddin, he said white-topping works were “almost nearing completion”,  saying the white-top work is pending only at the junction. He assured that the works would be completed in the next two weeks.

MLA Arshad told DH that roadworks was happening across his assembly constituency on a priority basis from Kamaraj Road to Ibrahim Sahib Street.

He added that besides Bescom works, water pipeline installation is also in progress due to which the white-topping at the junction was pending, assuring that they will be wrapped up in 15 days.

Published 10 June 2024, 22:06 IST

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