Citizens to protest against privatisation of Church Street

Citizens to protest against privatisation of Church Street

Revamped Church Street in Bengaluru. DH Photo/S K Dinesh

Citizens are coming together to protest against the proposed privatisation of the recently revamped Church Street.

The civic body plans to hand over the maintenance of the stretch developed under TenderSURE to private players.

The protest is organised by the members of Forum for Urban Governance and Commons (FUGC)—an organisation that works on urban development—will be held on Friday, against the privatisation of all the TenderSURE roads.

TenderSURE roads is a massive project undertaken by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) wherein selected main roads will be given a makeover to international standards. In this project, the roads will have a uniform standard carriageway and properly designed footpaths along with dedicated bicycle lanes. A dedicated corridor below footpaths for conduits of essential amenities such as electricity, water, sewage, OFC etc is also provided to eliminate the need to excavate roads for repairs.

However, Kshitij Urs, convenor, FUGC said that some steps planned under the privatisation of the project are a possible setback to the environment and are regressive in nature. He said:"The BBMP has been completely privatising the TenderSURE model of roads. It has recently called for a tender that calls for immediate removal of street vendors, removing of trees that are protruding on to the roads, removal of encroachment and 24/X7 security by security guards deployed by private companies."

Speaking about the Church Street, he added,"The Palike has called a tender to wash the road twice a week with detergents. This overlooks the fact that the road is situated on Koramangala-Challaghatta valley and the washed water eventually goes to Bellandur lake."

The protest is held on June 1, Friday at the Church Street —Brigade Road junction at 11 am.