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Corporation performs ‘magic’ on Nrupatunga Road

BY Richa Dhodi BANGALORE: The newly-built subways on Nrupatunga Road, laid by the city corporation, are proving to be useful to the citizens of Bangalore. The second of the three pedestrian subways to be constructed on Nrupathunga road opposite St. Martha's hospital was laid on Sunday. Work on the third is to begin shortly.

Last year, the Bruhat B a n g a l o r e Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had said that it would transform the look of the city in the next five months by constructing about 100 subways, also known as 'magic boxes,' in the city. B Sudeep, a private salesman at St. Martha's Hospital said that the life of a pedestrian is always at risk and with projects like these, they can heave a sigh of relief. There were several others who agreed with Sudeep. "Subways are a boon to the Bangaloreans," said Kuldeep, a driver at the Excise department, located on Nrupathunga Road.

Nrupathunga Road leads to KR Circle, which is a heavy traffic joint. The junction faces traffic from Cubbon Park, Mysore Bank, Vidhana Soudha and Shasadiri. Shiv Prasad, a daily commuter on Nrupathunga road, said that it is good that the BBMP is constructing subways for pedestrians "But who will look at the condition of the present subways like the ones at KR Market and Majestic?" he asked. He added that many pedestrians don't use the existing subways because of the "horrifying condition." Chikrayapa, the BBMP official in charge of subways,said that the Nrupathunga road subway was the second subway project of the BBMP that has met success. The first project was the subway at Hebbal.

Krishna Reddy, Chief Engineer, BBMP, said that there are four more subways in the pipeline. These are to be constructed on Hosur Road, CBI junction, Chalukya Circle and Race Course Road. "Chalukya circle subway will begin shortly. "A lot depends upon the availability of the land," he added. He explained the name 'magic box' to this project as about 100 workers, 9 trucks,7 lorries and 2 earthmovers combine and work together to get the operation done within 24 hours. Each magic box project costs about 60 to 70 lakhs and the subways are designed for a capacity of 30 people at one time.

Richa Dhodi Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore 560 074.

s_yajaman's picture

Thanks Richa


Thanks for that post.  A few paragraphs will improve readability.  I checked your blogspot and you had pictures there as well  Could you post those pictures here?  They seem to have been done reasonably neatly.

Thanks for highlighting the pathetic plight of pedestrians in our city.  the CM today promised to make Bangalore a world class city.  He said that there would be lots of flyovers!!!  I think most world class cities (and I have lived in one of them) have world class pedestrian facilities and public spaces.  Hopefully BBMP will put up 100 of these and improve pavements as well (not the obstacle courses that we have today as pavements).


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

rs's picture

Yeshwantpur circle

I feel there is a real need for several pedestrian underpasses at Yeshwantpur circle. As things stand buses release people on the Gymkhana side of IISC   ( left side of CV Raman Road towards Yeshwantpur ) and aroudn 99% of those people ( all except IISc Housing residents ) have to cross a road to go anywhere. They need to make some provision for people to negotiate Yeshwantpur circle safely and comfortably. RIght now people scamper accross the road which is bad for both drivers and pedestrians as the road is quite wide and really badly illuminated at night. 

The need to make a network of interlinked underpasses connecting all the roads leading in to YC. They had a wonderful opportunity to do it well when they were constructing the flyover but now since its almost complete I dont think they will do it. I suppose they will do something like what they did at BDA junction which is never used since it involves crossing 2 roads. One wonders when the city planners will wake up to the problems faced by pedestrians.




silkboard's picture

More magic box based subways

There are more tenders for small magic bixes on BBMP website, must be for the upcoming subways Richa mentions above.

Thanks for the report Richa. Even though journalism is not what we are setup for, we hope more of your colleagues at IINMJ will make use of Praja as their lab for local journalism.

about poor condition of existing subways, that problem is going to show up for the new ones as well. The issue is in maintanance. Building these subways ins one project, maintaining them another. Perhaps BBMP should select some stretches of roads and hand out maintenance (or even construction) of all these subways to private parties. They could run ads, perhaps be given space for leasing out to shops (one shop at each end) in return be expected to maintain these subways.

Srivatsava's picture

Ads in subways?? Not feasible


    Ads can be put up only on the inner walls of subways. Those will have to target only the users of the subway, who are much smaller in number compared to the road users.

    Ads are more feasible on skywalks/footbridges, since it targets a much wider audience of road users. Also, such ads are considered more prominent and visible than on the sidewalls of a 4ft wide subway.

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

Srivatsava's picture

Subways at Chalukya Circle: Not enough magic!!

     I had been to the underpass at Chalukya circle on Rajbhavan road. I should applaud the BBMP for a good job done. The subway is over 4 feet wide and has 4 small stairways (less than ten steps) leading in and out of the subway.

     I also notice that there is another similar subway being constructed on Millers Road(about 50mts from the one on Rajbhavan Road). The 'magicbox' has been laid, while the electrical and civil work are now in progress. Add to this, I hear that one more such structure would come up on Racecourse road (not sure if it is at the same junction)

     The only problem I see is that this junction has a lot of heavy traffic at all times with 6 major roads (five with traffic coming in and four taking out) converging at the circle. Add to this, there are a large student population with a few colleges and schools (not to forget the planetarium) and office-goers with so many government establishments in the vicinity.

     In such a junction, most people are likely to cross two or three roads one after the other to reach their destination (possibly from a nearby bus stop). Those people will end up climbing and getting down the stairs a few times to cross the road.

      So, if such underpasses are constructed in other such juctions, the BBMP should ensure that these subways are interconnected underground, even if means that only one exitway can be provided on each side of a road.

      With the widening of Racecourse road and Palace road, the junction will only witness more traffic, possibly moving at faster speeds. hence It will be advantageous to have the subways at all roads on the junction.

-Srivatsava V


-Srivatsava V

Srivatsava's picture

Some more needed

   I would suggest that more such subways be built on large junctions with high traffic densities, and not necessarily high pedestrian densities.

   The CBD has a lot of such junctions including corporation circle, KR circle to name a few.

   With the Metro going underground in the CBD, it will be useful to have such subways integrated with the Metro stations. Pedestrians being safely and conveniently (come rain or shine) able to walk into the Metro stations will ensure that more people will utilise the Metro.

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

idontspam's picture

Disabled friendly?

They could have laid ramps for the diasbled on one side. Hope it has enough vents to not get flooded during the rains

Built in ramp

Or even simple ones like this.

Add on simple wheel chair access

blrsri's picture

Nrupathunga rd magic..

did we need two underpasses about 100 mts from eachother? we could have as well done with one in the middle..probably just before the gates of the petrol bunk!

Anyways my opinion on the underpass is that the magic is best suited for ped underpass and nothing else..we need more of these!

coming to the design..the only point that has to be improved is the entry and exits roof of these has now a covering of cheap plastic..its allows light no doubt but it aint gonna last at all!
The option for this is to have 'ferrocement' built with chicken mesh and cement..which should provide a lasting solution for the roof of the entry and exit stairs..
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