Monday, November 09, 2009

Unwanted underpass irks residents

Unwanted underpass irks residents
Bangalore: Nov 8, DH News Service

Heavy rains on Sunday could not extinguish people’s rage against the construction of Tagore Circle underpass as a good number of people turned at the ‘Janaabhipraya’ (public opinion), organised by Deccan Herald and Prajavani at the Government School on KR Road.

What was intriguing was the absence of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike officials, who did not show up to clear people’s apprehensions over the underpass and its impact on the landscapes near Tagore Circle which used to be the identity of KR Road. The issue was summed up when the speakers unanimously opined that BBMP officials displayed their arrogance and disregard towards people, who wanted to interact with them at the programme.

Officials absent

“Officials have not turned up. Had they showed up, it would have been surprising. This arrogance make them ‘Adhikara-Shahi’,” said eminent educationist and playwright Prof G K Govinda Rao. He took on the public representatives for their lack of concern for environmental issues that can lead to increase in the City’s temperature over the coming years.

He said that if the disastrous development activities continue the ‘Udyana Nagari’ (Garden City) would turn into ‘Adhwanna Nagari’ (Messy City). He urged the residents of Basavangudi to oppose the underpass construction.

Former mayor Ramachandrappa said there was something fishy about the whole project and the manner in which it was being executed. “What was the need to start the work at night? What was the fear?” he questioned.

Former mayor Huchchappa said the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike should have sought public opinion with the revision of projects. He appealed to the people to join him in this movement.

Insult to citizens

Retired professor of Bangalore University, K M Nagaraj, said the decision makers’ single point agenda was to fill their coffers so they turned a deaf ear to the people’s outcry. “This is nothing but an insult to the masses,” he said.

Save Bangalore, Committee Secretary, Rajashekar said: “It is a simple fact that the grade separator is not required here. Traffic advisor to the chief minister and the member of ABIDe Prof M N Sreehari has said that the normal vehicular movement on Tagore Circle amounts to only 5,700 PCUs (passenger car units) every day and warrants no construction of underpass.”

Gopinath, a retired engineer, said the BBMP never bothered to answer any of his questions. “The JNNURM clearly says that projects should be initiated only when an elected body is in place at the local level. In the absence of a local body, how could the work be started?” questioned Gopinath.

He added that the police department too behavedindifferently to his repeated letters to find out about the PCUs at Tagore Circle. Eminent educationist and JD(S) leader Prof Radhakrishna rejected the need for an underpass at Tagore circle.

“This underpass should not become like grade separators at the BDA junction near Windsor Manor or the Cauvery Theatre. What should be kept in mind is safety and utility”, he said.

Speaking in favour of the project, Kote Suryanarayana Rao viewed that the such infrastructural projects were needed to cope with the pace and
demands of a fast-growing city like Bangalore.

He pointed that Tamil Nadu was growing fast because it supported developmental works whereas Karnataka was turning into a land of public resistance against development.

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