Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tech zone witnesses planned urban growth

Tech zone witnesses planned urban growth
MATF has shaped up Mahadevapura into a suburbia with broad roads and good infrastructure, save some eyesores
Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: Once a cluster of villages, it is now a concrete jungle with skyscrapers and traffic screeching on the roads. But the smileys are there: broad, new-laid roads lined with neat medians and streetlights — a welcome sight across Mahadevapura. With time, the villages of Gunjur, Varthur, Hagadur, Kadugodi and Hoody have transformed into major hubs of the new BBMP zone, barring a few interior locations.
But change did not come overnight: much of it came about thanks to effective Public-Private Partnership, a majority of it triggered by the year-old Mahadevapura Agenda Task Force (MATF), inspired by the Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF). The few success stories here serve as lessons on infrastructure to even the old BBMP areas.
MATF was started soon after the assembly elections in 2008. The agenda: to involve residents in local area planning and development. “The initial four or five meetings of MATF were organized to understand problems and issues, and solicit suggestions from the people, besides getting senior officials from various civic and development agencies such as BBMP, BDA, BWSSB, Bescom, revenue, PWD, education, health, Lake Authority, sports and library departments. These consultations soon shaped up into a comprehensive development plan for the entire zone, which was further categorized into short, medium and long-term projects. Detailed project reports (DPRs) were prepared by civic and municipal agencies and government departments. Then, several meetings were held with civic agencies for allocation of funds,’’ explains MATF convener R K Misra.
The good news: most of the short-term projects are already complete. Almost all the inner city roads have been strengthened and asphalted, door-to-door garbage collection is implemented, trees have been planted all along the roads and almost all major roads have streetlights that function.
Include work on five major road corridors
Kundalahalli-Varthur Kodi-Hope Farm-Kadugodi (Whitefield Railway Stn., 8 km): The road stretch from Kundalahalli-Graphite India-Hoody Jn (5 km) is being developed into a model road. Tiled footpaths for these two ‘zero-dust roads’ is under progress, with cable ducts, bus bays and pedestrian crossings. These roads will soon be fitted with rain water harvesting pits at every 50 m in the roadside drain.
HAL-Marathalli-Kundalahalli: This road is part of the signal-free corridor, up to Vellara Junction via Air Force Command Hospital. BBMP tendering under progress, but halted due to model code of conduct.
Hope Farm-ITPB-KR Puram: Part of signal-free corridor up to Mehkri Circle via Ulsoor-Jayamahal. Again, BBMP tendering under progress, stopped due to model code of conduct.
Sarjapur Road from Iblur-Wipro HO-railway crossing: BBMP has estimated the work, funds are yet to be allocated.
Outer Ring Road - Iblur-KR Puram: Part of signal-free ORR project.
The Iblur flyover at Sarjapur Road junction is 50% complete. Another three flyovers between Iblur and KR Puram have also been tendered, and soil survey work is in progress. The BDA also plans to make this road ‘dust-free’, laying interlocking blocks and planting shrubs on medians and footpaths.
Kadugodi Railway Over Bridge (RoB):
The crude stretch of unfinished RoB stands disconnected over Whitefield station at Kadugodi. This RoB is part of the east-side
access to Bengaluru International
Airport (BIA), proposed by the Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure Development (ABIDe). Ironically, almost 45 km of the road stretch starting from K a d u g o d i Whitefield railway station up to the airport, via Budhigiri and Devanahalli, is almost ready, but this bridge is incomplete even after four years. The latest reason is that the contractor has run away as Railways refused to pay the additional cost. However, officials say new tenders have been called and people hope work will begin in February. Meanwhile, commuters at this junction have to contend with chaos and an hour-long jam at the railway crossing, with goods trains shuttling to the FCI depot nearby.
ITPB/Industrial Park Zone: The most important industrial, hi-tech zone of Bangalore, it has been completely neglected by KIADB. The are broken roads, no footpaths or streetlights.
Pedestrian woes at Marathalli junction: Increasing traffic has left pedestrians with very little foot room on roads. Physically handicapped and senior citizens struggle to cross the road through speeding vehicles. “It’s sad that the city has skywalks at places where people don’t use them. Here, we need them badly, but nothing has been done,’’ complains a pedestrian, who has seen this area worsen with the years.


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