Friday, July 16, 2010

Don't destroy the symmetry of this locality

Don't destroy the symmetry of this locality

Shilpa CB. Bangalore

Once, Chamarajpet stood as a role model for others. Jayanagar followed suit adding spatial value with more parks and wider roads.
That's the status good old Chamarajpet has in the city, say residents of the area. Built during the time of Krishnaraja Wodeyar in 1892 in the name of Jayachamarajendra Wodeya, this place has withstood the test of time for more than a century. Now, if BBMP's road widening project goes as planned, its facade may suffer a change. Residents and traders of this historical layout fear that its essential character will be lost forever.
And, what are the characteristics? "Each plot area is 30X108 ft. It shows a clear strain of conservancy between two plots. Then there is a cross after two plots. It's neat like a piece of cake," says Rajendra Prasad, who has been running a family business that is almost as old as the layout itself.
Altering the width of any road would mess it up, residents say. Businessman Jagannath MC compares Chamarajpet to a chessboard. "Each plot is like a square on a chess board. The crosses are neatly aligned. So are the conservancies. It's very precise," he says.
"The roads are broad, footpaths are wide, and trees are large and strong. What more does a layout require," he asks.
The reverence for 'Bangalore's first planned layout' is palpable at every cross. "Chamarajpet's streets have nurtured litterateurs, actors, scientists. There is the Tipu Palace and Kannada Sahitya Parishat here. It's got a history. We can't believe that with just one stroke, a civic agency will disturb a way of life that has been preserved for over a hundred years," Jagannath says.
Proper traffic planning and discipline are the need of the day, not widening of roads.
"Destroying the symmetry of this centurion locality for the sake of accommodating more motor vehicles is irrational. Besides, that wouldn't really solve the problem. At the end of it, all we will have on our hands is destruction of a beautiful locality," residents warn.

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