Saturday, July 03, 2010

Tagore Circle residents fear road block may delay emergency aid

Tagore Circle residents fear road block may delay emergency aid

People are having nightmares as the narrow road towards Gandhi Bazaar remains blocked due to the ongoing underpass work at Tagore Circle. They can't even take out their vehicles. The road was opened a week ago for public movement but was closed as people got hurt after falling into the excavated portions at the project site, writes Rohith BR



CR Gopinath, a senior citizen residing in Sovereign Park apartment located next to Tagore Circle in Basavanagudi, suffered heart attack a few weeks ago. His family members faced hardship in getting ambulance help for him. It took more than 30 minutes to reach him to the nearby hospital. Luckily, he survived.
The reason for medical help reaching him late was the blocked road passage in front of the apartment due to the ongoing underpass work. The ambulance was not able to reach the apartment gate.
"Since the service road is yet to be opened for public, it is a nightmare for residents in the area," said Gopinath.
Sovereign Park apartment alone houses 80 families of which many members are elders.
When city mayor SK Nataraj inspected the underpass project on Friday, residents expressed their concern to him.
"It has been more than three months. As the narrow road towards Gandhi Bazaar, which is the shopping space for residents here, is blocked, one has to take a full round of almost a kilometre to reach there through alternative roads," said Anantha Ramaiah. "Whenever it rains, the roads turn slushy. Since it is monsoon season, we may face severe problems," he said.
Other residents said it had become almost impossible to take out vehicles from their houses, since there was no proper passage. Sovereign Park Apartment Residents' Association secretary BTA Rao said there were more than 40 vehicles in the apartment alone.
"The door-to-door garbage collection has also taken a hit as the available road space is uneven for the entry of Palike vans," said another resident. "We want the government to unlock us from the underpass tussle," he said.
When the mayor discussed the problem with project engineers, they said they had opened the road passage for public movement a few weeks ago.
"But then we started receiving complaints about drunkards and children falling into the excavated portion of the project site and getting injured. The road space is very narrow," said BBMP assistant executive engineer N Shivanna.
Nataraj told the project officials to speed up the work on the service road and assured residents that their problem would be resolved soon.
"We will open the service road for public in 90 days. It would be ready by August 15, 2010," he said. "Since the hard rocks which came in the project site have been cleared and utility shifting is done, the project implementation would gain pace," he said.
He added that the work on the other approach road to the underpass would be taken up soon and the underpass would be completed before December 2010.
When questioned about the loss of greenery and related agitation by residents due to the underpass work, he said it was not an issue as the project was already under implementation.
"We will plant three saplings for every tree which would be cut for the project," he said.
Since residents were more worried about the road passage problem, the greenery loss took a back seat on Friday.
This was the mayor's first visit to the underpass. He had skipped visiting the place during his previous tour of Basavanagudi.

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