Monday, January 04, 2010

Tale of two cities

Tale of two cities
Many roads in this zone present a sorry picture, but the residents hope for a better future
Deepa Bhasthi | TNN

The story of Bangalore West can be called a tale of two cities. The zone has two, almost entirely different, types of areas.
On one side of the spectrum are places like Ganganagar and Bhoopsandra, where inner roads are yet to see the light of development. Problems aggravate the moment you steer off the main roads. At the other end are Malleswaram and Jalahalli, where the residents are not complaining.
While infrastructure projects are causing inconvenience, there are places reeling under sheer civic apathy. While some residents are tolerant, others want the authorities to take notice and act.
At Gangenahalli, or Ganganagar as it is now called, the main road used to have a vegetable market. Today, service lanes no longer exist and the main road, despite housing a number of commercial complexes, has no parking facility.
Being right next to the road that leads to Bengaluru International Airport, traffic is often chaotic here. Inner roads in places like Hebbal and Anandnagar are too narrow. “Lack of parking space results in constant jams. In addition, BBMP’s constant repair work leads to more woes,” says Avishek Ghoshbag, a resident of Bhoopsandra.
Below the majestic Hebbal flyover, there is much noise and honking. Several pedestrians take a risk every time they dart past buses and vehicles to reach the other side of the road. Gangadhar wheels a cart of cheap snacks. According to him, there are no proper facilities for crossing the road. “There are schools here and I fear for the little children.”
It’s the same story at Laggere — bad roads and large potholes. Just off Jalahalli, the elevated highway project that is to connect Yeshwantpur Circle to 10th Mile on National Highway 4, is under construction. The project is turning roads around the area into dust bowls.
Bangalore Metro work around Rajajinagar, especially on Mahakavi Kuvempu Road from Devaiah Park to Navarang, is causing inconvenience. With demolished buildings on one side, the stretch looks like a war zone. There are more potholes here than roads.
T N Lakshman Rao, a resident of Rajajinagar 3rd Block, says: “Builders don’t pull down scaffolding and it’s dangerous with kids playing in the area. Cables lying around, gaps in footpaths, etc, are leading to problems.”
The pedestrian subway in Vijayanagar, that had initially created confusion in the area, is complete. But a similar project near City Market is causing agony. A traffic inspector says: “Work has been going on for so long. Even the board that displays details of the project has a sticker across the commencement date. The work was to be completed in a year, but has overshot the deadline by months.”
Owing to dug-up roads, the Market area is chaotic and traffic is slow-moving. “There are no accidents because vehicles can hardly go at a speed of more than 10 kmph,” a cop says.
BBMP has promised to finish the work, costing Rs 5.9 crore, by March 2010. It admits that only 45% of it is complete. Meanwhile, some of the workers have built houses around the site and below the Mysore Road flyover.
Nearby areas of Chickpet, Binnypet and Cottonpet, among the oldest commercial localities of the city, are no less intimidating, with the narrow lanes dominated by hand carts, shops jutting onto roads and cows sitting bang in the middle of heavy traffic.
Bangalore West is supposed to get several road overbridges and underbridges. Survey work for one is under progress at Bhoopasandra, while construction of RuBs at Malleswaram 18th Cross and Mysore Lamp are in tender-approval stage.
There are areas where roads are wide and free of potholes. Jalahalli is a case in point. Largely a defence area, roads here are wide and have beautiful parks on either side.
Residents of Malleswaram are happy as well. They say the underpass in front of K C General Hospital has been useful. The Yeshwantpur flyover has also eased traffic. The residential lanes are well laid out.
Residents of Chickpet complain of several hawkers and little shops occupying most of the road space. Umashankar Vasudev, a retired SP and resident of Malleswaram 6th Main, has a similar four-year-old problem. The approach road here is encroached upon by nearby apartment owners, he says.
16. Jalahalli: HMT staff quarters, Jalahalli, BEL quarters
17. J P Park: Poornappa Garden, Sundar Nagar, Gokul Extension, Badappa Garden, Muthyalamma Nagar, Tannirahalli, Mathikere (J P Park), SBM Colony, Brindavan Nagar, Mohan Kumar Nagar, LIC Colony, Pampanagar, B K Nagar (P), Yeshwantpur (P), Railway quarters
18. Radha Krishna Temple:
Lottegollanahalli, Venkatachary Nagar, HIG Colony, RMV II Stage, Dollar apartment, Krishna Layout, Amarajyothi Layout, RMV 2nd Stage 3rd Block, Naidu Layout, Judicial Colony, AECS Layout, Jaladarshini Layout, Geddalahalli
19. Sanjaynagar:
Bhoopasandra, Vinayaka Layout, Excise Colony, RMS Colony, Nagashettihalli, Yajamana Layout, AECS Layout, Sanjayanagar, BPEHCS Layout, Ramakrishnappa Layout
20. Ganganagar: UAS campus, KEB Layout, UAS staff quarters, Visvesvaraiah Nagar, Reserve Bank Colony, HMT Layout, Ganganagar, Venkappa Block, Gundappa Block
21. Hebbal: Hebbal, Kunti Betta, Cholanagar, Amar Jyothi Layout, Chowdaiah Block, Anand Nagar Colony, UAS quarters (P), MSH Layout, Anand Nagar TOMORROW: Solid waste management


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