Indiranagar may give 'Open Streets' a miss as residents oppose it

Indiranagar may give 'Open Streets' a miss as residents oppose it

Eight Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) representing more than 20,000 households in Indiranagar are determined to stall the ‘Open Streets’ event scheduled for January 15 on 100-Feet Road.

Local residents have strongly opposed the event announced by the Tourism Department in December 2016, saying it will lead to further commercialisation of Indiranagar 100-Foot Road and the surrounding areas and make the locality less livable.

“We were kept in the dark about the event and got to know about it only through the media. The locality is already grappling with many civic problems such as improper garbage disposal, poor sewage system, bad roads and over-commercialisation. These problems need to be solved first,” Aruna Newton, president, HAL 2nd Stage RWA, said. “We also want to know why a residential area (Indiranagar) was picked for ‘Open Streets’.”

The RWAs have formed the ‘I Change Indiranagar’ collective, and recently wrote to Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge and Bengaluru police commissioner to cancel the event.

“Commercial establishments have come up in every nook and cranny of Indiranagar. There are rampant violations of building bylaws. We believe the ‘Open Streets’ will further degrade our locality and make it less livable,” said a resident, who declined to give his name.

When contacted, Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge confirmed that he had received a representation against the event. “We will take a call on whether to go ahead with the event or cancel it. There are many RWAs in Indiranagar and there are disagreements about the event. If people do not want it, we will not host it in Indiranagar,” he said.

The previous edition of ‘Open Streets’, held on MG Road, was well-received by the public and proved a money-spinner for commercial establishments, he said.

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