The pathway to change

New vistas

The pathway  to change
Every time you walk on Church Street, you have to make sure you don’t  slip on the uneven footpath or accidentally step into a pool of sewage water. Looks like these woes will soon come to an end with Church Street set to come under the TenderSURE
project.

The work, that is said to begin in the second week of February, will give Church Street a whole new look. It entails LED streetlights and parking bay facilities that can accommodate over 100 two-wheelers and 32 four-wheelers in addition to pedestrian-friendly footpaths. The project, it is said, will be completed by July this year.

While frequent visitors say that they can’t wait to see the street getting a makeover, commercial establishments located on this stretch are worried that their business will take a beating when the work is on, leading to losses.

People say that it is the ambience and the unique identity attached to the street that makes them want to come here.

Mahesh Jayaram, an employee with Dell, says that he always wanted  Brigade Road and Church Street to be devoid of parking so that there is enough space for people to walk. “Church Street is also a popular food street and the heaps of garbage piled on the pavements and roads act as a deterrent to any visitor. I also feel that multi-storey parking lots must be proposed. This will give us more space to walk,” explains Mahesh.

Church Street has always been a meeting place for many people. Peter Abreo, another professional, feels that the city must have more spaces dedicated to art and theatre and Church Street serves as an ideal location for cultural exchange and interactions.

“Church Street has always been a place to hold meetings and brainstorm ideas. I also hope the new stretch will have space for cyclists because the culture of cycling is slowly catching up with Bengalureans — both young and old,” feels Peter.     
      
Youngsters like Chandana and Pushya, who have lived in Bengaluru all their lives, say that Church Street tops their list of favourite hang-out places. They wonder why the government hasn’t done its bit to ensure that the place is maintained well. “Some of the poshest restaurants are located on this stretch but the roads and footpaths are in a pathetic condition. There’s waterlogging in certain places and it looks like the potholes are a permanent feature on Church Street,” says Chandana, a photographer. Pushya, a student of visual communication, pitches in “The diverse crowd that comes here interests me. I come here on weekends just to watch people move around. This is also an exciting place for tourists.”

Shailaja, a hotel management student, feels not only Church Street but also several other places across the city need a makeover. She says, “The road and pedestrian paths on Church Street have been in a poor condition for as long as I can remember.”

The BBMP and BESCOM have begun the initial work.  K T Nagaraj, chief engineer (projects), BBMP says that the study and marking of the utilities such as sanitary and water supply lines have begun. “This is the most crucial part of the project because we need to bring these two lines below the pedestrian paths. We will work in such a way that the existing water and sanitary lines are not affected. They will remain functional until it is replaced by the new ones,” says Nagaraj. He also says that a storm water drain will also be constructed.
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