A green patch amidst concrete

Old charm

A green patch amidst concrete

Beautiful: An artistic impression of the boulevard on M G Road.

The first phase of Metro Rail is near completion but there’s no news of the boulevard being brought back to life. Most Bangaloreans doubt that the boulevard will ever be restored to its old charm. But a few others hope the authorities will keep their word and bring back the lost glory.

The BMRCL authorities claim that the levelling work for the boulevard has already begun. “We’ve started the levelling work. We have to find a place to move the coach that’s displayed at Anil Kumble Circle and once that is done we will move the coach out. We have an elaborate plan for the boulevard,” informed B LY Chavan, chief public relations officer. But the authorities are hesitant to zero in on an exact time and date.

The proposed plan for the boulevard is supposed to be bigger and better. It is divided into different levels and each level is said to have something special. Among the proposed activities at the boulevard are a plaza, sculpture display, book fair, play area, walkway and a seating area. The open air theatre, with a seating capacity of 150 people, would have street plays and puppet shows. The art gallery will have art shows, art demonstrations, workshops and Karnataka cultural heirlooms. There will also be an informal mandi space where art and craft could be displayed. “What we have planned is an interactive space where people would like to spend their evenings. Of course, the original charm of the boulevard cannot be brought back but we are trying to work out something similar,” said a senior official with BMRCL.

While environmentalist Suresh Heblikar has accepted that the old charm of the boulevard cannot be brought back, he feels more flowering plants and planting native species of trees would make a big difference. “The trees would provide for an excellent view from the Metro train. A natural pond or a waterfall will attract butterflies, this will enhance the environment,” he averred.  Most people would like to believe that the boulevard will be brought back to life. They feel a green stretch lining M G Road would complement the concrete jungle on the other side of the road.  Noor Hussain Sait, a store owner, says he misses the boulevard, “M G Road is turning into a concrete jungle. The little green stretch we had is lost. I hope the boulevard would return in a better form,” he said. Javeeda, a professional recalls the days she would drive down to M G Road, only to walk down the walkway. “I have given up hope about the boulevard being brought back to life. Even if it comes up, it will never look the same,” she said.

But Sharmila Bhat, a medical practitioner, is sure that the authorities will keep their word and restore the boulevard, “The new boulevard may not look like the original one but I am sure it will look better. We have patiently waited for the Metro for so long and I think the wait for the boulevard will be worth it,” she said.

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