Friday, December 11, 2009

COMMERCE is off the street!

COMMERCE is off the street!
This New Year and Christmas season, Commercial Street will be closed for traffic as the BWSSB is digging up the road for replacing 100-year-old water pipes beneath the stretch
PRAVEEN KUMAR


For the Commercial Street, one of the top shopping destinations in Bangalore, commerce will be the biggest casualty during New Year and Christmas shopping season as the street will ‘remain closed for traffic indefinitely’. Reason: The BWSSB plans to replace century-old rusted water pipes passing under the road.
While the Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board is in a hurry to begin work and complete it at the earliest, traders are requesting the board to delay the work in view of the New Year shopping season.
REVENUE GROSSER
Traders said the New Year season is a big revenue grosser for them. It is during this season that they illuminate the road, put up colourful posters and banners, and create a festive atmosphere.
“If the BWSSB digs up the road and closes it for traffic during this season, how do you expect us to keep our shops open? We have requested the BWSSB to start work in the new year,” Ajai Motwani, vice-president of Bangalore Commercial Association, a traders’ body, told Bangalore Mirror.
But the BWSSB seems to be in a hurry. Asked about the traders’ plea, BWSSB’s executive engineer Sathish said, “We are replacing the 100-year-old existing four-inch water pipes passing under the road with 12-inch concrete pipes. We have to dig the road and find out where these pipes are passing.”
PIPES ON ROAD
He said the pipes have been kept on the road and more materials will arrive soon. “Hopefully, the work should begin next week.”
Sathish also said he has not received any request from anyone, including the Commercial Street traders, on when to commence work.
Commercial Street traders’ body vice-president, however, said it has appealed to the BWSSB to start work only after the New Year shopping season. They hadone more request. They want the BWSSB to move elsewhere the concrete pipes kept on the road until the end of this shopping season.
NO TIME-FRAME
Meanwhile, the BWSSB is not sure how long it will take to replace the pipes. “Only when we start work will be know. I cannot tell you the exact time,” said the BWSSB officials.
“Once the BWSSB completes work, the road has to be relaid. It will take some more time. If the BBMP decides to lay a solid concrete road with an asphalt coating, it will take more time,” sources said.
Traders hope the authorities will take up work on war-footing and complete it in a few days without causing inconvenience to them as well as the shoppers.
The Commercial Street traffic police inspector had a different take on this matter. “I was told the traders and the BWSSB have come to an understanding. It might not take more than three days. Traders have agreed to shut shop during this period,” he said.
But, going by the track record of our civic agencies, if they complete the task in three days, it will be a record of sorts.

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