Friday, October 23, 2009

Another landmark in city goes

Another landmark in city goes

Staff Reporter
Century-old circle in front of Lalbagh West Gate removed
—Photo: K. Murali Kumar

MAKES WAY FOR METRO: The circle in front of the Lalbagh West Gate on R.V. Road being removed for metro rail work in Bangalore on Wednesday.
BANGALORE: Another landmark, the century-old circle facing Lalbagh West Gate, became the latest victim of the city’s development.

Even as the famed green canopy on R.V. Road was lost to Metro work, the Bangalore traffic police demolished the circle on Wednesday to streamline traffic.

The circle was well landscaped and regular morning walkers to Lalbagh will be in for a shock on Thursday morning when they enter the botanical gardens from the West Gate.

Located at the junction of Krumbiegel Road, Rashtriya Vidyalaya (R.V.) Road, Vani Vilas Road and Sir M.N. Krishna Rau Road, the circle was a landmark for many. Local residents recall that the circle had historical significance. It was decorated with Mexican grass and a beautiful rose garden.

No alternative
The police argue that there was no alternative to getting rid of the circle to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Praveen Sood told The Hindu that either the circle had to stay or the traffic lights at the junction. “If the circle was to stay, traffic would have gone haywire and piled up for a long distance on Krumbiegel Road. In fact, traffic lights were installed at this circle a decade ago, but were of little use since vehicles could not move straight from Krumbiegel Road either towards Krishna Rau Road or Vani Vilas Road,” he said. Vehicles used to take at least 20 seconds to cross the junction and the time-cycle of the traffic lights during peak hours used to be 240 seconds, the highest in the city, Mr. Sood said.

Despite this, he pointed out that the traffic would not be cleared at one go prompting the traffic police to remove the bottleneck.

Mr. Sood said the passenger car units per hour had reached 10,000 — the maximum for any signalled junction — at this circle, which in fact demanded construction of a flyover or a grade separator. The situation was bound to aggravate as construction of the viaduct and the Lalbagh Station of Namma Metro would occupy a sizable portion of the space around this circle, he noted.

New signal lights
Now the traffic lights would be reinstalled at this circle offering a maximum time-cycle of 180 seconds during peak hours.

Meanwhile, there were ‘ayes’ and ‘nays’ for the latest move by the traffic police.

Sadashivaiah, a regular visitor to Lalbagh, was shocked to see the circle vanish on Wednesday evening. “The circle, just like the botanical garden, had been a part of my daily evening walk.

There was no need to remove the circle entirely,” he said.

On the other hand, S.P. Shankar, a senior advocate who has his office in Basavanagudi, said removal of the circle would avoid wastage of fuel.

“It used to take over 20 minutes to cross Krumbiegel Road and enter Krishna Rau Road during peak hours,” he said.


At Friday, October 23, 2009 at 4:10:00 PM GMT+5:30, Blogger Pierre Conti said...

your blog is great! I have been living between Bangalore and Chennai for a year, researching and writing for films. I am now back in Paris. Your posts truly reflect some of what I observed there. This city is somehow such a wasted poster-boy that it is becoming a case study for urban planning.Though I am totally in love with it, and its mutation. Can I ask more about you? I tried without success to find more info about you.
best, Pierre

At Friday, October 23, 2009 at 8:47:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting relevant articles on this blog. These lessons can be applied to other cities in India too. Why don't the metro authorities or the government plant a tree for every tree that is cut? Why doesn't the government have ecologically sound plans for anything? Development doesn't have to be at the cost of the environment or heritage for that matter.
Thanks for letting me comment.


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