Brand-new Church Street rotting with leaking drainage, garbage

Just two months after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah unveiled the 750-metre Church Street, sewage began flooding the brand-new cobblestone top due to blocked drainage chambers. DH file photo

Just two months after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah unveiled the 750-metre Church Street, sewage began flooding the brand-new cobblestone top due to blocked drainage chambers.

Siddaramaiah hastened the inauguration of the still unfinished street — opening it on March 1 — to beat the poll code. With cobblestones still to be laid on a few sections of the footpath, the drainage overflow has turned the thoroughfare into a terrible mess.

One of the major roads in the Central Business District, Church Street was renovated under the TenderSURE project at a cost of Rs 14 crore. "A lot of money was spent to upgrade Church Street. Two months after its opening, the work is still incomplete," lamented M Muralidhara Hegde, who owns an office here.

"The water well in our building, used by a restaurant, has been contaminated since the renovation work. It was good prior to the renovation, but now the BBMP has allowed drainage water to mix with the source," he further said.

The Church Street renovation work began on February 22, 2017, and the Palike missed several deadlines before it was opened on March 1. Work is still going on at a snail’s pace between Empire Hotel and St Marks Road.

Tiles are not laid on the footpath and the optical fibre cable and electrical cable chambers are not covered, which hinder safe pedestrian movement along the stretch.

"The stretch is in a dangerous condition," said Mohan, a shopkeeper. "People find it difficult to walk in the night due to the open chambers."

The city's only international-standard road laid with Kasuti-pattern cobblestones, as described by the BBMP, is littered and the garbage dumps here brim with solid waste.

"Everything from beer bottles to cigarette packets and hotel wastes is dumped on the roadside. The garbage dumps are overflowing. Since the authorities have not cleared the garbage here, the air is thick with putrefying odor while walking along the stretch," said Bhuvana Prasad, a frequent visitor to Church Street.

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Brand-new Church Street rotting with leaking drainage, garbage

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