Residents' protest puts BBMP plan on hold

Residents' protest puts BBMP plan on hold

Residents' protest puts BBMP plan on hold

In a fresh civil society-motivated protest, the residents of Malleswaram have got an otherwise stubborn Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on the backfoot by forcing it to reconsider its proposal to widen Sa­nkey Tank Road.

It would have meant razing down a school, a temple and many trees. The fact that there is also a technical problem worrying the Palike has helped the protesters, who had “lost” to the Palike while trying to stop the Cauvery Junction underpass.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Palike sources said,  “Commissioner Siddaiah will take a second look at the proposal of an underpass at Bhashyam Circle, which was being planned to facilitate a signal-free corridor from Yeswanthpur to Infantry Road.”

The proposed widening of Sankey road was part of this project. Official sources say  “any underpass construction at Bhashyam Circle may see the Sankey tank bund being breached due to its proximity to the water body, and thereby,  we are looking into the feasibility.”

“It becomes really difficult to navigate through the underpass when it rains and we have brought this up with the BBMP and told them that when there is a problem at Cauvery junction, then Bhashyam Circle is surely not an option,” Shrimathi Ranganath, one of the residents told Deccan Herald.

The Palike, which now admits that the previously constructed ‘magic box’ at Cauvery Junction is in fact a huge headache as it has seen heavy seepage due to the slope which heads from Sankey tank towards the underpass construction. “We had earlier suffered heavily due to the seepage at the Cauvery underpass which gets inundated during monsoon as there is an increase in the outflow of the water from Sankey tank,” a source said.

With two such underpasses proposed at close proximity to the lake, the BBMP now fears it may increase the water seepage and create havoc with commuter movement.
Thereby, sources said Siddaiah has asked for the project details from the concerned department for a fresh assessment. The Commissioner has stated that the same problem which occured after the Cauvery Junction underpass should not recur.

It must be recalled that in May 2010, the residents of Malleswaram and green organisations had formed a human chain asking the authorities to shelve the idea to widen Sankey road for a brief period.

The BBMP had already taken up the project to widen the Sankey Road and has started to mark the boundaries along the stretch which will be acquired for the purpose. It is learnt that the urgency to start the work stems from the fact that the  Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission of the Centre is set to end by March 2012. The BBMP has planned to widen the stretch from Cauvery Theatre to Maramma Juction by 26.5 meters.
Residents now hope that the success of their protest is not shortlived and that it results in the Palike dropping the project.