Road widening spree at dist HQs

Moves by CMCs get negative response from shopowners by roadside

In what seems a coincidental move of administration, both the districts are witnessing their respective officials and local bodies opting to widen the roads at the district headquarters.

The first phases of the widening work commenced in the towns. The officials concerned of the respective City Municipal Councils were seen on Tuesday and Wednesday going about recording the widths of the roads identified and marking the measurements for further reference.

The citizens– to be precise, the shopowners on the areas marked for road clearance– in both headquarters made sure they passed on their reactions to the authorities’ moves.

In Chikkaballapur

The City Municipality officials and staff members were seen at work on the Gangamma Temple Road. The executive engineer Raykar oversaw the measuring and marking process, while the survey team members were taking not just measurements, but also the khata numbers of the shops by the road.

The work, however, commenced ‘all of a sudden’ on Tuesday, at around 5 pm, taking many shopowners by surprise. The road users, including pedestrians were mostly caught off-guard as the officials and staff members got down to work on the road.

The shopowners even repeatedly questioned the need for a survey of the road. Some of the Municipality officials merely passed the buck to the district administration, saying it was an ‘order from above’.

“There are preparations being made for similar survey of even Bazaar Road and the MG Road. As a starting point, we are surveying the Gangamma Temple Road, measuring the area in front of the shops by the road. The information will all be passed on to the deputy commissioner, who will then instruct us on the next move,” urban development project officer Nagaraja Setty told Deccan Herald.

He added that notices will be issued to the shopowners regarding the widening of the roads in their areas. “They will also be requested for cooperation for the work. The widening will be carried out, considering the increase in number of vehicles on and the width of the roads.”

In Kolar

Deputy Commissioner Dr Trilok Chandra K V gave a start to the marking of as many as six roads in town on Wednesday by himself making a marking with red ink on the wall of a building at Corporation Bank Circle. He extended the six-metre marking made from the median of a road by including two feet of the footpath area and instructed the staff members to consider similarly.

The City Municipality and Kolar Urban Development Authority officials and staff members continued the work on two roads that were marked on Wednesday.

In a meeting of the City Municipality at around 9.30 am, president B M Mubarak inspected the map of the town provided by the Authority and discussed the areas that held the roads to be widened with Commissioner K S Nagaraja Gowda.

Of the six roads identified by the Municipality for widening, MG Road and the Doddapet Road are the most congested, since they are also centres of high commercial activity. Traffic movement is often affected by this, and the two roads should be given priority for widening work, the Municipality officials decided and informed the deputy commissioner later.

The shopowners, however, objected the move by the Municipality. The work on the Doddapet Road, MG Road, Sharada Talkies Road and MG Chowk saw hundreds of them gathering near the Municipality staff members as the latter went about with the marking.

“How much would you expand the roads? How much will you clear our shops? When will you commence the actual widening?” asked the shopowners. They, however, did not fail to ask the staff members, “Will the Municipality show no concession on the clearance?”

Their questions, in turn, fell on deaf ears, as the marking work just went on.

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