Monday, July 05, 2010

Opposition to widening of roads in City picks up

Opposition to widening of roads in City picks up
Bangalore, July 4, DHNS:

Thousands of property owners and businessmen who will be affected by the project taken up by Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to widen 220 roads in different parts of the City, received support on Sunday from eminent persons from different walks of life who took strong exception to the BBMP project.

Participating in the citizens’ convention organised by Save Bangalore Committee and NGO Bhavan in Cubbon Park, their terms of description of the project included “senseless, heinous, devastating, inhuman, unscientific and a conspiracy to make monetary profit by politicians, contractors and bureaucrats.” They criticised BBMP for not consulting experts and those affected before implementing the widening of roads.

They urged the government to halt the project immediately and called upon Bangaloreans for a united struggle till the project is withdrawn.

Justice M F Saldanha said some vested interests are supporting the project as they will get timber which is most valuable after trees are chopped off. “The project is very lucrative for contractors. It’s a big mafia. The project is taken up only for private and corrupt purpose.”

More than 12,000 illegal commercial structures came up in the City during the last five years. These spaces were mainly parking lots before the structures came up. The structures are causing congestion on roads as vehicles are parked on roadside. Such structures should be demolished to decongest roads instead of widening the roads, he said.

“They are ruining the City. Bangalore doesn’t belong to the chief minister of mayor or the BDA chairman. It belongs to people. Those in power are in a deep slumber and citizens should make efforts to wake them up by protesting,” said freedom fighter H S Doreswamy.

Jnanpith awardee U R Ananthamurthy stressed the need for creating peoples’ fear factor among politicians. The government will give up such anti-people projects only when those in power are afraid of people. What is important is not fast driving by youngsters on roads, but facilities to cross roads safely by elderly persons, he said.

“I request the government to withdraw the project till the ongoing metro rail project is completed. Decision regarding whether roads really need to be widened can be taken after studying the impact of the metro,” he added.

Environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy said the government lacked reason and logic regarding the project. Theatre personality H S Somashekhar alleged the government failed to take experts’ opinions and to consult those to be affected due to the project.
Retired senior chief engineer of BBMP Srirangaraju termed the project as a “great fraud” played on the public. The project is being implemented without understanding the City’s geography and history, he said.

Urban planner George K Kuruvilla pointed out the project will only encourage more vehicles to ply on roads and will not serve any purpose.

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