Saturday, May 08, 2010

OUR BOULEVARD’S COMING BACK

OUR BOULEVARD’S COMING BACK



Look forward to an area for the arts, a children’s park, walkers’ areas, fountains and water bodies


DEEPTHI M R




Bangalore is getting back its boulevard on M G Road which had given way to Metro construction work a couple of years ago.
With Metro work on the M G Road stretch nearing completion, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) plans to turn the boulevard, stretching from Anil Kumble Circle to Kamaraj Road, into an arena for displaying fine arts and visual arts and showcasing Karnataka's culture.
Director (project and planning), BMRCL, B S Sudhir Chandra said, “We plan to create an area like the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath where visual and fine arts are encouraged. We also plan a park for children, walkers' and joggers' areas. Landscaping will include fountains and water bodies. We have three weeks to finalise the project expenses.”
BMRCL officials have discussed the project with various civic authorities like Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the horticulture department to restore the historic boulevard.
After inspecting the progress of the Metro work, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said, “We will introduce facilities like an open air theatre, a place to display the art and craft of Karnataka and exhibitions to restore the beauty of the boulevard.”
Work on the project will begin by the second week of June. It is expected to open by November with one phase completed. This yearend is also when the M G Road station should be completed.

BOULEVARD OF OUR DREAMS


Here’s what we think the boulevard
must have:

A BANDSTAND

Bangalore loves music, whether it's the rock shows at Palace Grounds, the Ramanavami concerts in the southern neighbourhoods, or the mix-and-match festivals at Chowdaiah Hall.What Bangalore needs at M G Road is a place where bands can come and play... we are, after all, a city famed for our youth bands.

A SOUVENIR SHOP

We know there’s Cauvery around the corner, but we’d recommend little shops selling products that represent Karnataka: Mysore Sandal Soap, sandalwood oil, silk scarves, Mysore jasmine, Mysore pak, Dharwad peda, Gokak kardant, books, CDs... Perhaps we could also have mugs, T shirts and other souvenirs with fun inscriptions.

TOILETS

The busy M G Road area makes do without a public toilet.This is shameful, considering the numbers coming here for work and play every day. Foreigners visiting Bangalore’s poshest road must be incredulous we go without this most basic of amenities.
While we are at it, let’s also do something to stop our friends from using the boulevard as an open-air toilet.

Some take-home suggestions for the tourist:



Science and tech:

Get the IISc and other premier science institutes of Bangalore to offer popular science packages for kids.Visitors would love to take home miniature models of, say, airplanes made in Bangalore.

Irony and satire:

Get stand-up comedians to spoof the political developments of the day... With politicians like Hartal Halappa and the Bellary Reddys, satirists will never run out of subjects and visitors will never run out of entertainment. Sell pics and recordings.

Cooking:

Offer samples of Karnataka’s favourite foods, such as the every day uppittu, idli, dosa and the festive obbattu, kajjaya and tambittu. Let visitors take home a taste of our culture.
Of course there are many other things we could do, like teach visitors how to drape themselves in a sari the Malnad way, how to wear jasmine in the hair, and how to wear a kachche panche... but then, let’s remember, people also need to walk along the boulevard, and make way for people coming after them...

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