Thursday, October 28, 2004

Civic groups meet CM to address city woes

Now, civic groups meet CM over city’s woes
Times of India

Bangalore: After IT captains and industrialists, it’s now the turn of representatives from the city’s civic groups to meet the chief minister to discuss city woes. A large number of civil society groups and NGOs led by Public Affairs Centre (PAC) met chief minister N. Dharam Singh on Wednesday and submitted a memorandum with suggestions to improve the deteriorating condition of roads and traffic in the city. The delegation stressed that the highest priority should be given to upgrade roads rather than building more flyovers in busy areas of the city. The delegation included Dr Samuel Paul and Dr A. Ravindra of PAC, and G. Govardhan of Bangalore Environment Trust. The chiefs of BDA, BCC and the urban development secretary were present at the meeting. Responding to suggestions submitted by the delegation, Singh asked officials to start the repair work in November and opined that road repair and pothole filling work be done at night.

The memorandum contains the following suggestions for immediate action and some proposals for long term action:

*Problems: Poor condition of arterial and inner roads; inadequate action on pothole filling; blocked drains resulting in water stagnation; poor condition of diversion routes where flyover works are in progress.
*Suggestions: Urgent maintenance works on all roads, filling potholes as per specifications, clearing drainage path; exhibit brief details of the road work undertaken on each road including the name of the contractor; provide good service roads during the construction of grade separators.

*Problems: Traffic jams throughout the day; non-enforcement of lane discipline, one-way and no entry for HTVs; vehicles, especially two-wheelers and autos travelling on pavements when there is a jam.
*Suggestions: Ensure all buses stop only at designated places - at bus bays and bus stops; marking of pavements, lanes and zebra crossings to be done periodically using good paint and enforcement of lane discipline; to get paid volunteers to assist the traffic police for enforcement drives and to man the busy junctions.

The delegation has also suggested the following short-term measures to be taken up immediately.
*Widening of roads and construction of grade separators at congested intersections.
*To have integrated urban transport system consisting of metrorail system and bus system extending upto the peripheral areas of the city.
*To have an effective metropolitan development authority for planned and co-ordinated development of all the infrastructure requirements of the city.
*Raise resources through 100 per cent property tax collection with full enforcement; IT industry may be asked to contribute to low interest bonds to develop infrastructure.


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