Flyover, steel bridge to protect graveyards

Two ongoing projects in the city, construction of Amberpet flyover and the steel bridge near Punjagutta graveyard respectively, are expected to ease traffic congestion at both these locations, which is long overdue owing to intransigence of the respective graveyard managements to yield land for road widening.

The very planning of both the structures — the flyover costing Rs. 468 crore and the steel bridge worth Rs. 6 crore — owes itself to the improbability of getting land from the graveyards for road widening. Further, both projects have been designed in such a way that their construction causes little encroachment into the respective graveyard sites.

The major traffic bottleneck near Punjagutta graveyard was also identified by the traffic police as a ‘Black Spot’ causing frequent accidents. Case in point was the death of a schoolgirl a few years ago, in an accident which had caused wide-spread consternation across the city. A traffic study report has estimated the traffic near the bottleneck to be 4,807 passenger car units during peak hours, and the existing carriage way is mere 5.5 metres (1.5 lanes) which is grossly inadequate. A four-lane road is needed for smooth flow of traffic without any accumulation.

When negotiations with the graveyard committee for land acquisition to widen the road have fallen through, the alternative came up for construction of low-level steel plate girder bridge flying over the graveyard. The bridge, beginning near the Muffakkam Jah College and landing at the Chutneys Hotel, will have a span of 35 metres.

With the consent of the graveyard committee after an assurance that none of the graves will be affected, an estimate has been prepared for Rs. 5.95 crore, and GHMC Standing Committee has accorded its approval for the same. Tenders have been called for and Letter of Acceptance has been issued. Work will commence shortly and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The flyover at Amberpet begins at the 6 No. Crossroads, and lands 1.6 kilometres further ahead, beyond the chilla in the centre of the road, via Sri Ramana theatre Crossroads. Proposals for widening of this road too were stalled reportedly owing to the disagreement with the graveyard committees. Design of the flyover will change to ‘portal pillars’ from single column, along the length of the graveyard so as to avoid land acquisition.

“Pillars in the the middle of the road, will narrow the road down by 1.5 lanes. Plan is for landing the pillars on either side inside the graveyard without affecting any of the existing graves,” says R.Sreedhar, chief engineer (Projects), GHMC.

National Highways is taking up the project, for which funds will be provided both by Central and state governments.

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