Cool spots face the heat

Cool spots face the heat

There was a time when MG Road and St Mark’s Road reflected the glory of Bengaluru City.  However, St Mark’s Road, these days, is haunted by problems thanks to the ongoing Tender SURE project.

While motorists and pedestrians are bearing the brunt of it, the traders on this road say that their businesses are now at stake.

There is a line of eateries on St Mark’s Road, which once made this road a sought-after ‘adda’ for a sumptuous lunch and dinner. But it no more remains the desired place to hang out due to all the digging and axing.

While the Tender SURE project, which is progressing at a snail’s pace on this road, promises to end the chaotic traffic and pave way for cyclists and pedestrians, there are many who doubt whether the outcome would be positive.

“The work seems never ending. The BBMP should really speed it up. Our business is affected largely and I want to regain it at the earliest. The traffic is congested and there is hardly any place to even walk now. The BBMP has already missed two deadlines — January 26 and February 28. We have no clue as to when this digging will end,” says one of the owners of a restaurant who chose to remain anonymous. The traders too say that their business is dropping by the day.

 Diwakar Rao, the owner of ‘Airlines Hotel’ says, “It is saddening to see the state of these roads. There is a downfall in our business due to this construction work.”

The manager of ‘Kabab Corner’ says, “The work had to be finished early, but it looks like it is going to take a few more months. Fifty per cent of our business has come down because of this construction work. There is no hope that this work will improve the area and reduce the traffic.”

 “There is a school on this road and traffic is heavy. I do not understand the point of narrowing the road, which will make it worse for the traffic to proceed smoothly,” he adds.

The road, which has a line of eateries, is now neglected as no one wants to enjoy their meal amidst the digging and the dust.

 “We are surviving as there is a corporate crowd that comes in at noon to our place. But there is just 10 per cent business that is happening during the evening. This widening of pavements and narrowing of road lane is pointless and it is a waste of time. Even after the completion of the work, which I think will take another five to six months, there will be no parking space available on this road and this will again affect our business,” says Ravi, manager of ‘Gundappa Donne Biryani’.

The managers of ‘Juice Junction’ and ‘ Richie Rich’ point out that 50 per cent of their business is affected as a result of this pavement broadening.

  While the Tender SURE project aims to get the urban road right by providing comfort and safety to the pedestrians, the traders are skeptical about the parking space and smooth movement of traffic on these roads.

They are just hoping that this digging ends soon and their business hops back to normalcy.

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