Monday, July 31, 2006

Underpass for Malleswaram?

Underpass for Malleswaram?
Citizens Chart Alternate Route,Authorities Refuse Approval
The Times of India

Bangalore: It’s the case of the proposed flyover at Ramakrishna Ashram, repeating all over again. This time at Malleswaram.
Residents are fuming over the proposed construction of an underpass and having approached everybody from the local corporator to the chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, they have even come up with a solution — an alternate route.

The proposed route is from Malleswaram Circle, Mohammaden Block up to Geetanjali theatre circle. Residents under the aegis of various organisations have come up with an alternate route — Jakkarayanakere connecting Krishna Flour Mills to Srirampuram bridge, which in turn connects 8th Main.

Explains Vijay Kumar Misra, member of Malleswaram Swabhimana Initiative, “Malleswaram is like a heritage area, it is one of the oldest areas in the city. The project will will ruthlessly chop over 150 trees. This area’s claim to fame is its green canopy. With the alternate route, vehicles going towards Yeshwantpur or Majestic can avoid Malleswaram, thus reducing traffic blocks.”

For the record, the underpass has been on paper in BMP’s budget books for the last three years. When authorities finally showed signs of starting the project — like demarcating the area, marking out trees, and putting up a signboard — residents gathered up in arms and have been staging dharnas protesting against the project. A delegation of residents even met the CM recently and were apparently assured verbally that “nothing that is against citizen interests, will be done.”

Citizens further explain that the design of the underpass is most unscientific. “The service road they have planned is about 15 feet wide. When a bus is 12 feet in width, how can vehicles ply through?’’ they ask, pointing out that there are bound to be bottlenecks at the Geetanjali theatre circle because the underpass ends abruptly there.

Meanwhile, BMP authorities explain that the project has been planned keeping in mind the vehicular growth of the next five years. They refuse to confirm if the project will take off in the immediate future.

Will it, will it not...?

* The gates to the KC General Hospital would be closed once the underpass comes up, causing inconvenience to patients
* Service roads would have a narrow width of 15 feet, vehicular movement would be clogged
* Chopping of nearly 150 trees


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