Monday, January 18, 2010

Underpass undermines them

Underpass undermines them

Residents of Basavanagudi took to the streets on Sunday to stop the work at Tagore Circle junction

Sunitha Rao R. Bangalore



Hit by stone-walling administration, continued tree chopping and frequent accidents, residents of Basavanagudi have been forced to take to the streets again over the construction of an underpass at Tagore Circle.
On Sunday, the residents were joined by former minister BK Chandrashekhar, traffic expert MN Sreehari and members of Hasiru-Usiru organisation. They took stock of the project, whose details have become public only in bits and pieces. There is still no clear estimate on the impact of the underpass.
Speaking to DNA, Sumati Nagendra, social activist from Hasiru-Usiru, said, "The detailed project report states that 52 sq m of private properties will be affected. But none of the residents are made aware of the damages they will suffer."
The residential and commercial complexes coming in the way of the underpass will be affected. "But so far the BBMP has not given out any details. We request them to install a model of the underpass that maps the work site. We are ready to fund the same," said Ramesh Babu, president of Basavanagudi Traders' Association.
Sreehari reiterated that there is no junction in Bangalore which has a passenger car unit (PCU) of 11,358 per hour. But as per the BBMP's private consultants, this stretch had that much of PCU in 2006. "I don't understand why BBMP has not considered that the traffic would reduce here after the metro becomes operational," he said. He also wondered why the Palike did not consult additional commissioner of traffic, Praveen Sood, before starting the work.
Apparently, the Tagore Circle junction has become accident prone over the past couple of months. "Motorists travelling from KR Road cannot see the vehicles coming from BP Wadia Road, resulting in at least three to four accidents a day," said Pramod Bidadikar, who works in the petrol bunk near the junction.
The citizens are also worried about the possible loss of green cover. "About 70-80 trees are being cut for this underpass. No effort is made to transplant them. We doubt officials have taken permission from the Tree Authority of India for this," said CR Gopinath, a senior citizen of Basavanagudi. Three big trees have disappeared in the last one month.

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