My association with NH48 (stretch between Bangalore and Kunigal) goes a long way back to early 90s. What used to be couple of bus rides from Kunigal to Bangalore during vacations turned in to weekly journeys from Bangalore to Kunigal when I moved to Bangalore for my studies. Watching those beautiful trees passing by and enjoying the cool breeze was a pleasure. Gradually bus journies turned into bike rides and the journey became more beautiful. When I was on bike, I became part of the road. And then the horror struck – in the name of development, they decided to expand the road.
NH48, taken on a winter morning in 2006.
Those beautiful good old trees started going down one by one when the work started in 2007. With the road widening and countless number of diversion all along, I resorted to a alternate to traffic jams and delays. A quite less crowded route via Magadi. I forgot about that good old NH48 for almost 4 years since the alternate route via Magadi helped me avoid most of the city traffic as I used to exit out of Bangalore near Kengeri and then join Magadi. Quite recently while we are about to start our journey back to Bangalore, my cousin suggested that we take the NH48 as the work was completed. A new 4 lane road all the way to Nelamangala, with legal speed limit increased to 80 kmph from 50 kmph. It was a pleasure driving back to Bangalore. But that pleaseure was just interms of driving with newly laid, barren road.
All we got was – journey got reduced by 15 mins (only to get stuck for 30 mins in the long queue to pay the toll) for the cost of those old trees along a stretch of 48KMs. All for none.