Monday, August 09, 2010

How BBMP hid its road-widening plan

How BBMP hid its road-widening plan

Mayor SK Nataraj's sop to spare residential areas was to ease public anger. The plan will be implemented in Chamrajpet and Basvanagudi first

Rohith BR Bangalore

Like it or not, the road-widening plan is not going anywhere. BBMP mayor SK Nataraj's big breather for residential areas was just a sop. Road-widening will be done but in a gradual, phased manner, and Chamrajpet and Basavanagudi will be the first areas where the project will be implemented.
The idea behind Nataraj's Friday announcement, according to corporators and sources in the BBMP's road widening division, was to ease the public anger over the controversial plan. "The city's intellectuals have joined the outburst against road-widening. The state government is in no mood to rush with the plan. The Congress padayatra is already haunting them," said a senior corporator in the BBMP Council.
The BBMP wants to concentrate on road-widening in Greater Bangalore areas (those which were incorporated into the city to constitute Bruhat Bangalore in 2005) where there is little opposition to the project. They will focus on core city areas once things calm down. The state government's strategy is to take up road-widening in a manner that does not invite widespread opposition from the public.
Areas falling under wards with ruling BJP corporators would be taken up on a priority basis as the BBMP does not anticipate much opposition. "In the wards that have elected opposition party corporators, the strategy will be different."
Resident welfare associations in the city are already wary about the mayor's announcement. The president of Residents Welfare Association Bangalore East (REWABE), CP Abraham, said his association had doubts about Nataraj's announcement. "We know that the mayor just can't change a Cabinet decision. It clearly shows the political motive behind whole thing," he said.The Save Bangalore Committee members have planned a protest march on August 10 (Tuesday) from Mysore Bank Circle to Banappa Park over the confusion created by the civic authorities on road-widening.

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