Urban planners unhappy with underground parking plan

Urban planners unhappy with underground parking plan

The underground parking facility proposed beneath Kamaraj Road in the City has not enthused the urban planners and prominent citizens, with some calling the idea ‘sheer madness’.

About a week ago, the Bengaluru Development Minister K J George had mooted the idea of underground parking on Kamaraj Road based on a presentation by Nejeeb Khan of KGD Architecture. He went on to say that the BBMP engineers had carried out a feasibility study and gave the go ahead.

Naresh V Narasimhan of Venkataramanan Associates said the tunnel parking was a bad idea when the BBMP cannot handle pedestrian subways. “Why the government should invest in malls when its priority should be to provide basic amenities? It will disrupt the whole area,” he said.

He said there are bigger challenges before the government and the BBMP such as pathetic footpaths, pothole-ridden roads and poor solid waste management.

Former Chief Secretary Dr A Ravindra said such projects are good when vacant lands were available.

“People had earlier tried to get the military land for this purpose but there was a cold response from the defence establishment. It is always better to discourage the use of vehicles and improve the public transport system than investing in cost-intensive projects,” said Dr Ravindra.

Rajajinagar MLA and former Urban Development Minister S Suresh Kumar wished to know whether the government was ready with the plan before making any such announcements. “What is the point in making announcements when the project is not even planned?” Kumar wanted to know.

A former BBMP commissioner dubbed the idea ‘sheer madness.’ Requesting anonymity, the bureaucrat said the destruction of Kamaraj Road will badly hamper business at Commercial Street and render many people jobless.

He concluded by saying, “This is a foolish idea, which lacks vision.”

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