Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Shrill in noise, bleak in vision

Shrill in noise, bleak in vision

Civic analysts are not too enthusiastic about the Rs22,000-crore mega package for developing Bangalore

Senthalir S and Bosky Khanna. Bangalore



The state government's announcement of a Rs22,000-crore development package in Bangalore has stirred among residents hope of a better future. However the question remains whether these projects would indeed mean an end to the city's infrastructural woes.
Civic analysts, however, are not too enthusiastic about the package. While some feel that keeping pedestrians and public transportation out of the package purview is disappointing, others dismissed the entire exercise as a pre-poll gimmick. Here is what the experts told DNA.
V Ravichandar, civic analyst
This decision of the state is welcome in its intent. But it may not be appropriate, given the fact that an elected body will be taking charge of BBMP in the near future. The elected body should have had a role in deciding the kind of large-scale projects the city needs. What will happen to these announced projects if the new leadership is not from the ruling party?
Instead of thinking whether these projects will have any positive impact on the urban poor, pedestrians, transportation (public and private), environment protection, hygiene etc, the government seems more keen on announcements. Doing away with magic boxes is welcome, but there is disquiet over some announcements. Signal-free corridors on arterial roads like Outer Ring Road are needed, but the emphasis on signal-free traffic within the city shows disdain for pedestrians' concerns. Some traffic control at junctions is necessary to allow pedestrians to cross safely.
Elevated roads are avoidable within the city. They will kill whatever remains of the city's aesthetics, reduce the road footprint and send out a signal that free moving private traffic is all what civic establishment cares for.
Dr AS Kodandapani,
urban planner
The Rs 22,000-crore package may not be effective. I feel this is nothing but pre-poll gimmick. The government has failed to take account of the fact that with the growing population of the city, the number of vehicles has also been steadily rising. They are just spending more money on infrastructure projects which will not serve the purpose unless they are integrated with the metro and mono rail link. So many signal free corridors may help to a certain extent, but synchronisation among signals is essential.
When it comes to elevated corridors, the corridor between Minerva Circle and Hudson Circle is a good idea. A large population of commuters plying south pass through this side and the two roads will be useful. As for constructing corridors over storm water drains is concerned, these roads to be built about 15-20 feet above the drains, will only contribute to the flooding of the city. Moreover, the pillars to be erected in the drain will only hamper the water flow and thus their discharge into lakes. The BBMP is also thinking of reviving 123 lakes. They are talking of this for sometime now but so far not even one lake has been rejuvenated or revived

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