Thursday, December 27, 2007

Is road widening the only allternative ?

Is road widening the only allternative ?
Mavalli - one of the oldest villages of Bangalore City. As Bangalore grew, the village became part of the City. Vehicular movement in the area increased as it is located close to one of the major tourist attractions - Lalbagh.

Mavalli - one of the oldest villages of Bangalore City. As Bangalore grew, the village became part of the City. Vehicular movement in the area increased as it is located close to one of the major tourist attractions - Lalbagh. Gradually shops came into existence, parking for vehicles was allowed and the streets, which were once playgrounds for the children of the locality, became one of the busiest roads of the City.
Lalbagh Fort Road is one such road, which has undergone a metamorphosis over decades. Govindaraju, 55, who has been born and brought up in the locality, fondly remembers his childhood days in the area. “We used to play lagori on the street, which is now occupied by vehicles throughout the day. Then there were hardly any vehicles. We could see only 10-20 vehicles a day. But it changed over the years. Forget playing, even crossing the road is difficult now”.
Govindaraju said that the road was first widened in the early 1980s. Parts of properties facing the road were demolished to pave the way for road widening. “For a few months after the road was widened, we were relieved of traffic jams. As the number of vehicles increased, the situation turned worse,” he said.
The BBMP has identified the road between Lalbagh main gate and Makkala Koota Circle for widening up to 30 metres. The Palike has invited applications for Transferable Development Rights from owners of properties facing the road. The road connects Lalbagh main gate, Minerva Circle and Makkala Koota. The width of the road varies from 16 metres to 20 metres. Increase in vehicular movement on the road has prompted BBMP to identify it for widening.
In a fix
Traffic police have allowed one-side parking to help shopkeepers. Parking for matadors has been provided in front of Lalbagh main gate. Matadors occupy a major portion of the road, creating bottlenecks for vehicularmovement.
Shopkeepers of the road are in a fix. They want free flow of traffic on the road;at the same time they do not want their properties disturbed for this. S V Manjunath has been running his automobile shop on the road for the 15 years. He believes that traffic movement can be made easy even without widening the road. “Traffic police are creating nuisance by allowing parking for matadors. If that is removed, traffic can move easily. There is no need to widen the road,” he said.
The centuries-old Satyamma Devi temple and Madras-E-Furqania are two important religious structures located on the road. Manjunath argued that the Palike cannot take up widening. “The public will not allow the Palike to demolish these structures. Let them think of alternatives to road widening,” he said.
Afzal, who runs a two-wheelers service centre, agrees that widening of the road will help motor riders. “But what about us? My shop is too small. I can’t run my shop if I am asked to surrender even a small portion of it. Why should I lose my earning for the sake of others?” he asked.
Similar is the opinion of Srinivas who was born and brought up in Mavalli. “I am 37 years old. Since the time of my forefathers we have been living here. Over the years, the city grew, but our lifestyle has not improved. My parents lost a portion of the property when the road was first widened. The area of our dwelling place was reduced. With my little earning I could not make property elsewhere. Then where should I go to live?” he questioned.
Commissioner’s orders
BBMP Commissoner S Subramanya has asked the Palike’s engineering division to complete road widening works at the earliest. He gave these instructions after inspecting widening works on Bellary Road.
The Palike has taken up widening of 85 roads, including Palace Road, Sheshadri Road, Race Course Road and Bellary Road. The Commissioner reviewed the road-widening works between Mekhri Circle and Hebbal flyover and asked officers to shift the utility lines immediately in consultation with other civic agencies and complete widening works immediately.

Road for widening
Lalbagh Fort Road
From Lalbagh main gate to Makkala Koota Circle (1.35 km)
Present width: Varies between 16 metres to 20 metres
Proposed width: 30 metres
Important landmarks: Lalbagh main gate, Minerva Circle, KIMS, Makkala Koota
Status: Applications for TDR invited


Post a Comment

<< Home