Friday, February 05, 2010

Encroachers keep pushing them to the streets

Encroachers keep pushing them to the streets

Vaishalli Chandra



Mismanagement of public roads, unscientific traffic, and brazen encroachment of pavements may sum up the perceptible woes of residents of Basavanagudi assembly constituency.
"Suddenly, traffic is heavy on 4th cross," says KV Nagaraj, a member of SBM Colony Resident Welfare Association in the Banashankari 1st stage. "No one knows why and how the traffic has moved from 5th cross to 4th cross."
It is not just the roaring traffic, huge cargo-vehicles come in contact with live wires and snap the power supplies, says Nagaraj. In the absence of a civic elected representatives, nobody knows who the officials concerned are.
In essence, encroaching on pavements has become a profitable pastime for shop owners and hawkers in Basavanagudi. This activity has been going on for quite some time. "From Sita Circle to Bank Colony, the whole stretch of footpath space is encroached upon," complains Janaki, a housewife, who has stopped walking her kid along the pavement and instead uses car for shopping although parking and haphazard traffic prove daunting. "Whatever left of the pavement is uneven and perilous," bewails R Rajini, a resident of Bank Colony.
Complaint against the badly mauled pavement is widespread in this constituency.
"Yes," agrees Padmaja Naik, an engineering student and resident of Girinagar. "Loss of pavement is a big misfortune. People are not encouraged to walk. The contemptible approach to footpath has resulted in growing vehicle population in this part of the city and consequent higher carbon footprint."
Harping on traffic woes, residents living near Manjunath Temple Road in Banashankari 1st stage find the two-way cumbersome as they feel that the narrow road cannot take the heavy traffic. They feel the authorities should make it a one way to ease the flow.
If traffic is unscientific, could parking facility be better? Youth, who use vehicles more frequently than their elders, carp at the lack of parking facility in all roads. "If we park in a by-lane outside a house, the owners shoo us away, but where is the parking space," asks Kaushik Raman, IInd PUC student.
"Roads and untamed traffic are the crucial civic issues waiting to be sorted out in our area" is a refrain one finds echoed among a cross-section of people in four of the seven wards in the constituency. "In the absence of a responsible civic leader, everybody has withdrawn to his shell," says Rajaratnam, a teacher living off Hanumanth Nagar.
Students had made attempts to use public transport. It is not only to save money but also to bring down air pollution. It succeeded to a large extent in Hanumanth Nagar which has good bus connectivity. But many other areas such as NR Colony, some areas in Girinagar, Hosakerehalli and Vidyapeeta Circle have sparse and irregular bus service

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