Friday, January 27, 2006

Biased metro survey draws flak

T eam did not meet CMH Road traders
Biased metro survey draws flak
Vijay Times

Bangalore: The spot survey for the metro rail conducted by the threemember expert committee headed by Justice K Shivashankar Bhat along with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) managing director K N Shrivastava on CMH Road and Old Madras Road on W ednesday has not gone down well with residents and traders of CMH Road in Indiranagar .

The team inspected CMH Road as early as 8 am when there was no traffic and traders had not yet opened for the day . "They should have inspected the road during peak hours to get a clear picture of the way the metro would affect daily life and business if allowed to pass through CMH Road," said Imtiyaz Ahamed, president of the CMH Road T raders’ Association.

Ahamed alleged that the spot inspection was conducted in a biased manner as the traders, who would be the worst-affected if the metro rail passes through CMH Road, were not consulted.

The traders suspect that the BMRC chief might influence the committee in favour of allowing the alignment on CMH Road. Ahamed further said that Justice Bhat should meet residents and traders of the locality and listen to their grievances.

Pramila Nesargi, senior advocate and former MLA who represents the traders, termed Shrivastava’s act of accompanying the committee members early in the morning "cowardly".

She has written to R Sathyanarayana Rao, convener of the expert committee and deputy secretary , government of Karnataka, explaining her objections on behalf of her clients, and urging alignment of the metro on Old Madras Road so as not to ’destroy’ CMH Road, which is the lifeline of Indiranagar . "When the earlier-proposed ELRTS can be aligned on Old Madras Road, why not the metro?" questioned Nesargi.

Meanwhile, BMRC officials, refuting allegations of bias, said the decision on the spot inspection was made entirely by them. "Justice Bhat undertook the survey to see the situation on both the roads before preparing the report. The expert committee will give a personal hearing to all concerned on Feb 5. Everbody’s viewpoint will be looked into , " they added.

RESIDENTS SURVEY

The following are comparative figures provided by the residents of CMH Road:

Old Madras Road CMH Road

4 230 buses ply daily 4 130 buses ply daily

4 13,800 commuters 4 7800 commuters

4 25,039 residents 4 1 1,201 residents

4 Wide road 4 Narrow road with many buildings

4 Ample parking space 4 Less parking space

4 Working class residents 4 Upper class residents who would prefer their own cars to the metro

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