Monday, April 16, 2007

Namma Metro goes to work

Namma Metro goes to work
Vijay Times

BANGALORE : Many Bangaloreans took a walk on the M G Road boulevard on Sunday morning.

They knew it would be the last time they would be able to do so, as the BMRCL was all set to begin work on the first phase of Bangalore Metro.

Some took pictures of the promenade in an effort to keep afresh memories of their favourite boulevard. They were depressed at the thought of all that greenery vanishing.

And soon enough, the Metro staff arrived with bulldozers, removing the bund and digging up the ground to put up a foundation for the piers and girders.

A few weeks from now, the road will be free of parking and the auto-lane. By September-October, the stretch is likely to be a one-way.

Traffic will not be diverted on M G Road for at least a couple of weeks, DCP Traffic (East) Abdul Saleem said.

The first phase will cover the 7-km stretch between M G Road and Byappanahalli which is primarily an elevated stretch except in one place where it is going to go underground. The project cost is Rs 6,400 crore including land acquisition, and it is scheduled for completion in the next six years. Work is to be done mostly at night to avert disruption of vehicle movement.

Environmentalists voiced surprise at the muted public response at the loss of greenery. Rohan D’Souza, member of Hasiru Usiru, a group actively working for the preservation of trees in the city, said, “The idea that metro is the best alternative has been sold to the people of Bangalore in such a way that people do not realise the implications. I think when they see the trees being cut, they will realise the magnitude of loss.” Some would not agree that development could override the need for greenery. Katyayani Chamraj of CIVIC, a NGO, said, “Most of the people think Metro is necessary. There are other ways of going about it. We need to do a Chipko movement here.” However there are many people who thought that Metro was the only solution to the increasing traffic mess in the city. Srikant Venkatraman, a software professional, said, “Most of the people are quite excited about Metro. Bangaloreans are frustrated about the existing traffic situation. Probably that is the reason why the protests have been non-existent.”

M G Road boulevard is the first to go, to make way


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