Friday, October 30, 2009

Kalasipalya bus stand gets BREATHING SPACE

Kalasipalya bus stand gets BREATHING SPACE
BBMP bulldozes 118 commercial set-ups and hutments

Bangalore: After Sultanpet, it was the long line of commercial small shops at the ever-busy and dilapidated Kalasipalya bus stand. Nearly 118 small commercial establishments around the bus stand and the hutments within were brought down by the BBMP on Thursday.
These small shops were almost 40 years old. The BBMP had leased them to the traders here for a 30-year period. However, almost all of them continued even after the end of the term. “It’s been a long wait for them to evacuate. Now, it’s two-three years post the lease period. We also had a series of meetings with the trade association here and also issued them a notice six months ago. Apart from the old temple here, we are demolishing all other shops. The recovered land is to remodel the existing bus stand. Once the demolition is complete, we will look into the feasibility of the same. The details of the project will be finalized depending on it,” explained one of the BBMP engineers on the spot.
Congested and seriously in need of a face-lift, the age-old bus stand at Kalasipalya is almost two to three times bigger than the one at Shivajinagar. But the increasing encroachments and lack of maintenance in the past had left it with very little space.
The demolition drive has now cleared nearly four-and-a-half acres of land here. Soon, the BBMP plans to remodel it into a hi-tech bus stand.
According to BBMP engineers, the Stup Consultants has been appointed for the design. The feasibility report for the project has also been submitted to the commissioner for approval. “The exact details of the project including the cost is yet to be finalized,” they said.
The demolition drives have long been part of a growing Bangalore. The infrastructure projects apart, the twin big brothers BDA and BBMP have also been in continuous action on the demolition front.
October has been a busy month for demolition work for both the agencies. On an average, there’s been at least one demolition every alternate day. Sometimes, even two a day.
The BDA has had 15 major demolition drives this year. Almost eight of these happened in close succession this month. Interestingly, they’ve recovered properties worth anywhere between Rs 2 crore and Rs 250 crore, the demolition at J P Nagar 8th Phase on Wednesday being their latest and the biggest catch so far. Incidentally, way back in 2001, they had recovered a total 21 acre 33 guntas worth Rs 51.1 crore. Even in 2008-09, it was 20 acre 17 guntas worth Rs 235.89 crore. But this month, a single catch topped this figure.
“We have been into demolition and recovery process since 2001. However, with most of our pending cases just cleared recently, we have our hands full with demolition work. Many of these litigations have been pending for last 6-20 years,” a BDA spokesperson told TOI.
Meanwhile, the BBMP’s demolition toll has not been less either. In October itself, it tackled almost 60 encroachments on storm-water drains. This, excluding those in east zone. The latest one at Kalasipalya was more a case of commercial complexes and finding space for projects.


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