Monday, December 28, 2009

THE CITY BEAUTIFUL

THE CITY BEAUTIFUL
Bangalore East comprises some of the city’s best areas, including the city centre; BBMP has some positive proposals to make it ...
Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: One of the oldest and core areas of Bangalore, Bangalore East zone is dotted with defence campuses and calm, residential localities, with a major section belonging to the gracious old British Cantonment.
A compact zone of 35 wards, many of the old wards had never faced problems with roads — except for a few congested zones like Jogupalya and interior parts of New Thippasandra. The new layouts like Kalyan Nagar and HRBR Layout have broad and neatly-laid roads.
PENDING WORKS
The main problem here is not plans for the future, but old works which are not complete. Many businessmen in this part of Bangalore have been out of business for some seasons now, not thanks to the recession but because road works alongside grade separators have blocked all access to shops. And the work seems to be going on for years now.
The ROB at the busy Wheeler Road-Cox Town junction near Fraser Town is a classic example. It’s been a long wait for this bridge since June 26, 2006. The original plan — listed on a bent and rusted project display board on site — says it should have been completed in 18 months (December 25, 2007) and cost Rs 15 crore. But three years have passed, and Rs 20 crore spent, and the latest deadline is still January 18, 2010. The project was taken up jointly by the BBMP and Railways.
The people here are unhappy. “The flyover is happening. But where is the service lane? Further, there are still no proper water or sanitary lines. Is it worth the long wait?’’ asks N S Ravi, president of Bharathinagar Residents’ Forum. The residents are planning on a dharna in the coming days against the incomplete works on the ROB. Residents in other surrounding areas also complain about the shoddy road works. “Very often, they re-coat good roads, and miss the roads that actually need repair! Can this be changed, at least now?’’ they ask.
With time, places like Indiranagar, New Thippasandra, Fraser Town and CMH Road have almost seen a sea-change.
Prem Raj, a resident of Indiranagar, writes on issues in his area during recent times:
“Since August 2009, road works are in progress on 13th Cross. This half-km of road is still under repair, affecting traffic to Kavery Layout, GM Palya and New Thippasandra...’’
“During August, I had also requested to shift my BSNL telephone connection from Hanumanthnagar to this area. After submitting the application at BSNL office (Indiranagar), they said there was no junction bob in the area to give a connection! Quite interesting: In India, when even remote places are getting telephone connections, a prime hub in the centre of the city is not able to provide one!’’ he says.
THE GOOD NEWS
Complaints in many other areas get due importance. For instance, Reach 1 of Namma Metro work, that runs through this zone, appears to have kick-started a lot of road reforms in the surrounding areas, particularly around Byappanahalli depot area and C V Raman Nagar. Remote areas with no proper access, like Kasturinagar, now have broad, enviable stretches of road. Even CMH Road, bruised by the Metro, is seeing a facelift, with parts of it being laid again.
LOOKING AHEAD BBMP initiatives are supported by ABIDe, with inputs from leading architectural firms Plan is to bring in concept of urban design to public spaces; will also preserve few bits of heritage left Will be extended mainly to dense junctions which have a mix of pedestrian and vehicular traffic Brigade Road junction is first of four such major plans — these junctions most often have people rushing to cross roads and heritage elements being sidelined and almost lost Focus areas: pedestrian facilities, public plazas, clear facilities for public transport

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