The Palike shut the entrance gates of the underpass near the Public Instruction Office to undertake upgrades such as replacing tiles, improving lighting and painting, among others. The renovations are made every year, Palike officials said.
The underpass, built in 2009 at a cost of Rs 45 lakh, connects the Public Instruction Office to the Government Science College on the other side.
The area has many government establishments such as the Income Tax Department, the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board and the Government Science College. Elderly citizens and officials working in offices situated along the road are the worst affected, due to the ongoing work.
Ramdass P, a senior citizen who frequents Nrupathunga Road, said: “It is definitely scary to cross the road without this pedestrian underpass. Though it is badly maintained, I do not mind using it as it is much safer than risking my life crossing the busy stretch.”
According to BBMP chief engineer (East Zone), Krishna Swamy, the underpass was in a dilapidated condition and the flooring had worn out. “It will take two weeks for the work to complete,” he added.
However, another underpass on the same stretch in front of St Martha’s Hospital has been kept open.
Krishna Kumar, a student of Government Science College, said: “In the morning and evening office hours, the traffic on the lane peaks and it is very difficult to even step on the road. A month back, a few labourers painted the wall of the underpass and they locked the entrance gates. After that, I have not seen any work taking place.”
A senior police officer said: “Nrupathunga Road is one of the busiest stretches in the City and witnesses bumper-to-bumper traffic. The underpass had been of great help to pedestrians to cross the road. In the interest of the public, the Palike should complete the repair works without any further delay.”