Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tagore Circle underpass work irks Basavanagudi residents

Tagore Circle underpass work irks Basavanagudi residents

They fear this will lead to heavy traffic in the already congested Gandhibazaar area

Sunitha Rao R. Bangalore

Opposition from residents and BBMP's work are going hand-in-hand at the construction site of the underpass at Tagore Circle in South Bangalore.
On Wednesday, residents of Basavanagudi expressed their unhappiness about the underpass to traffic expert MN Srihari, former minister BK Chandrashekar and former bureaucrat YK Muddukrishna who visited the site. "The BBMP had earlier said that only 16 trees would be cut for the underpass work; but 76 trees on KR Road have been marked for chopping. Why is there no transparency in their work?" questioned M Venkatesh, a resident.
However, a senior forest officer at BBMP-South zone, said, "Earlier, there was a requisition to cut 76 trees. But we had rejected the proposal. Now, only 16 trees will be affected by the work at Tagore Circle."
But trees are not the only concern of the residents. "Other projects like the flyover near National College and grade separator at Ramakrishna Mutt were failures," they said, opining that the underpass was also not required in the area.
According to Venkatesh, the underpass and the signal-free corridor will result in heavy traffic in the Gandhibazaar area.
BBMP has cited a survey and claimed that the passenger car units (PCU) on the Gandhibazaar main road is 12,000. "But, as per my recent survey, it is only 4,500 to 5,000 PCU during peak hours," Sreehari said, adding, "This project was not publicised at all. Residents learnt about the project only after it began."
A BBMP official said, "What proof do they have that the PCU is only 4,500 on that stretch? The survey was conducted by a private consultant in 2006. The BBMP technical advisory committee, headed by Prof Justo, a traffic management expert, visited the site on Tuesday and approved the progress of work. Even additional commissioner of police (traffic), Praveen Sood, visited the spot that day."
Meanwhile, BBMP commissioner Bharat Lal Meena, said, "The traffic flow is becoming heavier with the growth of the city. People have the right to express their views but they shouldn't create unnecessary controversies. The City needs infrastructural development and we have never stopped the work."

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