Activists question need for Tender SURE projects

Activists question need for Tender SURE projects

The Jana Urban Space Foundation (JUSF) on Wednesday faced embarrassing moment at its media interaction programme, after members of Forum for Urban Commons and Governance took the organisers to task with 12 questions related to Tender SURE project.

The venue witnessed dramatic turn of events as protesters raised slogans against the project when the organisers were about to announce the recommendation for additional 50 roads to be taken up in the next phase of Tender SURE project.

Swati Ramanathan, chairperson of JUSF said the State government will make a final choice of 50 new roads for the next phase of Tender SURE projects. “We have recommended 118 roads with a total length of 146 km last week, which was asked by the government. These identified roads are not isolated singular streets, but have the potential for methodical expansion for the network benefits”, she said and added that the roads were considered based on strategic approach to develop public transport nodes.

Swati further informed that the seven roads taken up in the first phase of Tender SURE projects would be completed by May 2016. While, the development of Richmond road would take longer time, she said.

Apart from opposing the pressmeet called by JUSF to announce a public project from its private office, the protesters sought to know on why hundreds of crores was being spent on these roads and not on protecting lakes, anganawadi centres, primary health centres in newer wards or planting trees.

Besides, the note circulated by activists claimed that Tender SURE roads with ducts run under the footpath were only intended to help the big builders in central Bengaluru for easy passage way for their building utilities. Meanwhile, activist Vinay Sreenivasa said the project was being approved at chief minister’s level bypassing the BBMP Council.

“How can the 50 roads for the next phase be selected without discussing it in the Council or standing committee? Who approved project cost escalation which is in violation of Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act? Where are the promised street vending zones on St Marks Road and Cunnigaham Road as well as cycling tracks?”, were few out of 12 questions raised by the protesters.
DH News Service

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