Friday, October 02, 2009

Not the road we knew

Not the road we knew
On Gandhi Jayanti, TOI looks at the rapid transformation of Bangalore’s high street named after the Mahatma

Bangalore: Downtown Bangalore — a long stretch of road, flanked by a bougainvilleaed promenade and gracious buildings. Called M G Road, after the Father of the Nation, the city was proud of its boulevard. But that was then.
Today, on Gandhi Jayanti, little remains of the smooth road, with the arrival of the Metro. Lumps of incomplete concrete and girders mar the skyline; the beauty of old buildings like the Cauvery Emporium and others are affected too.
Metro Rail, which could one day be the city’s architectural pride and is expected to be a boon, is turning business sour for traders around M G Road.
The ban on parking, traffic blocks almost every hundred metres and cramped evening traffic from Anil Kumble Circle to Trinity has hit shopkeepers. Metro officials, however, insist that business will double once everything is up and ready.
Arya Bhavan sweet shop is seeing sharp losses, says V A Murugan, an employee. “People are no more interested in having chaats and sweets here. Where will they park their cars? With the beauty of M G Road gone, why will they be interested in coming here?” he asked.
The ‘no parking’ rule was initially implemented for a short duration, but has now been extended, and no one knows till when. Sireesh Babu, secretary of Bangalore Trade Association, says: “We are paying huge taxes to the BBMP but our complaints are not taken seriously. We are losing business at a fast rate and have been repeatedly writing to BBMP commissioners and even the CM. The Metro Rail construction has now been delayed, and the parkinf ban makes things worse.” Babu adds: “People go to other shopping areas because of parking problems. Broken footpaths, at places, make it cumbersome to walk. The problems are many. But who’s listening?”
Managers of big brand outlets also report considerable losses. Business at Cauvery Emporium has also been affected. A jewellery store is now finding it hard to make revenue. “We have very little business. Because of the Metro work, people think twice before visiting,” said Vishal Jain, Navratna Jewellers. “Traffic has gone up five times in past three years, but the road has narrowed.” Natesan, an antique shop on the stretch, is also suffering business losses. “At least 30-40%. Customers don’t visit us due to lack of parking. Businessmen and office-goers of M G Road occupy parking space though they should keep it for people who visit. The occupants should make other arrangements,” feels P D Hegde, manager, Natesan. M G Road has an eclectic mix of hotels, retail stores and food stalls, swanky office buildings and old-world shops, but there’s too little space for the big shoppers’ big cars.
— Aparajita Ray & Garima Prasher
Gandhi Peace Foundation and Karnataka Gandhi Smarak Nidhi will organize a series of events from 10 am to 8 pm over the next three days. The latter works towards spreading awareness about the use and benefits of khadi. H Sreenivasiah, president, Karnataka Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, said: “The events will focus on a number of problems like pollution, drinking water scarcity and shortage of power. Mahatma always spoke of meeting requirements on our own and the khadi industry is a step in that direction.” On the increasing crime rate, he said: “Unemployment is responsible for driving youth in that direction.” He spoke about a new charkha which works on solar energy, saying the khadi industry can go a long way in ensuring rural employment. TNN


At Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 1:08:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Banglaore seo company said...

Hey great blog....

I cant believe myself commuting on gandhi jayathi day.Seems Banglore is a small town. It took me just 20 minutes to reach from Majestic to Kormangala.

Its all because of Density of population taking toll while commuting..


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