Banaswadi marches against road widening

They accused the government of working on behalf of land sharks and proposed alternative solutions for traffic management without undertaking road-widening.

Banaswadi road is being widened as part of the State government’s plan to widen 800 kilometre of road space on 216 roads. Civil society groups estimate that nearly 37,000 properties in the City will have to be acquired for the  project. The BBMP Opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy termed the proposal as unscientific.

Referring to the highly criticised Banaswadi flyover, he warned residents of the perils of a poorly planned traffic system. “The flyover has led to more traffic problems in the area after it came up”, he said.

S Kumar, Joint Convener of Save Bangalore Committee, slammed the State government for pushing the Transferable Development Rights (TDR) scheme instead of paying compensation to property losers due to the scheme. He traced the origin of TDR to protection of heritage buildings in the US, and pointed that TDR was meant to protect property, not destroy it.

“Instead of providing TDRs, the government must fix a compensation, like they have done for the Metro”, he added.

He alleged that the State government was hand in glove with real estate developers to push for road-widening. He pointed that the implementation of TDRs in cities like Mumbai and Hyderabad have come in for a lot of criticism.

Kumar also questioned the basis for road-widening. He argued that Bogota in Colombia was able to reduce traffic by 24 percent by improving public transport.

The groups sought to know why a mall near Mukunda flyover was granted permission. Their contention was it will increase the traffic significantly. “When the plan is to de-congest Banaswadi Road, how has sanction for this commercial property been allowed,” asked a protester.

The march was organised by the Residents’ Association of Banaswadi and Wheeler Road, Save Bangalore Committee, and Hasiru Usiru. People marched from ITC flyover on Banaswadi Road to Sevanagar flyover.

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