Friday, October 30, 2009

‘There is no respect for public opinion’

‘There is no respect for public opinion’
Bangalore: Oct 29, DHNS:

"There is no respect for public opinion," this lament by Manjula, a resident of Mani Vilas apartment in Basavanagudi, echoed the sentiment of a majority of those now forced to endure the mess created by the Tagore Circle underpass work.

For, the voice of the people was apparently the least heard in the run up to the vehicular underpass project, now being built by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Vasant Madhav, a resident of Mani Vilas recalled that in 2007, during the coalition government’s regime, a foundation stone was laid for the construction of an underpass moving from B P Wadia Road into Gandhi Bazaar. “But now they have changed the alignment. What is the point of creating an underpass in this direction along Basavangudi Police Station,” wondered Madhav.

Basavanagudi residents complained to Deccan Herald that the BBMP and the State Government had completely overlooked the process of holding consultation with the general public. “On Sunday morning, when I came out of my apartment, I was confronted by this entirely dug up road in front of the apartment,” recalled Ramapriyan, manager of the Sovereign Park Apartment opposite Basavanagudi police station.

The discontent among the area residents has been so widespread that almost 90 percent of them were categorical that the underpass should have had no place at Tagore Circle. “The underpass will definitely ruin the street. The trees that have been around for so many years and providing green cover will be lost forever,” rued B T A Rao, Secretary, Sovereign Park Apartments Association.

Echoing his view was Chaya Shanbhag, who said: “The trees along this stretch are among the primary elements that preserve the charm of this street. If they go, then we lose the beauty of this road,” said Shanbhag.

While the road, according to most, was unnecessary, what came as a further shock was the chaos the dug-up road triggered within the first three days. The residents are now forced to live with hitherto unheard of traffic jams even during non-peak hours, unprotected trenches and open Storm Water Drains.

Residents are now convinced that the Tagore Circle may very well leave yet another mark of the disorganised and ad-hoc attitude of civic authorities in Bangalore. “They destroyed the National College Circle to construct the Basavanagudi flyover. Now, the underpass, once completed, will emulate the same fate as that of the flyover which sees only 10 cars ply on it every day,” said Madhav, sarcastically.


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