Thursday, September 24, 2009

Roadblock

Roadblock


Raghavendra R First Published : 24 Sep 2009 09:38:11 AM ISTLast Updated : 24 Sep 2009 10:37:08 AM IST
BANGALORE: The BBMP’s initiative of converting the Seshadri Road into a two-way signalfree road by widening it not has only drawn objections from environmentalists but also from the South Western Railway (SWR), Bangalore.
The BBMP's Forest Cell had identified 153 trees on Seshadri Road to be cut to make way for the road widening work here, which received flack from Environment Support Group.
After much deliberation, the BBMP finally undertook the road widening and underpass work on Seshadri Road. However, it was later forced to realign the Seshadri Road for widening following objection from the SWR authorities as their railway officers' enclave came in between.
The Palike had even marked chainage on the compound wall of the railway officers' enclave ranging between +350 m and +450 m for the road widening.
In this process, 13 trees were saved from being cut. This also indirectly saved the compound wall of Khoday’s family house from being demolished where the chainage was between +250 m and +300 m.
Sources in the BBMP’s Forest Cell said that SWR authorities didn’t allow the Palike to cut the trees as their property would also be demolished in the process. “Even the transferable development rights scheme didn’t work out, which promises fair land acquisition and rehabilitation,” they added.
SWR Officer’s Rest House, residence of Divisional Railway Manager, Officers’ Enclave and residence of Commissioner of Railway Safety are the SWR properties and Khoday’s house that came in the path of road widening.
Sources also said that this was not the only instance where BBMP had not got cooperation from SWR or Defence for the infrastructure projects.
“In such cases, the project gets delayed and drags on for years,” they said.
BBMP Chief Engineer (Major Roads) TN Chikkarayappa said that the road widening work on Seshadri Road was realigned. “The realignment was done as the SWR objected to the original plan. Acquiring land from Defence and Railway properties, is a long procedure,” he added.
Chikkarayappa said that due to objections from SWR, the required space for road widening was acquired from Fire Force property as it was a state property opposite to SWR enclave.
“Sufficient width was available here and road metalling work is over. Only asphalting, that will take a week’s time, remains. Work is expected to be completed by November if the monsoon allows,'' he explained.

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