Skywalk work launched in secrecy

Skywalk work launched in secrecy

Oblivious to the media and several social action groups on social media, work on the integrated skywalk near the Cubbon Park entrance was quietly inaugurated two months ago by a local MLA.

Finalised without any public consultation, a clear picture of this BBMP project is emerging only now.

The architectural drawings accessed by DH highlight the aerial view of the skywalk. The caption is telling in its intent: "Aerial view showing billboard visibility on both major roads." The implication is this: commuters on both MG Road and Queen's Road will have a clear view of the advertisements.

The sheer audacity of the project, destined to destroy the entire green aesthetics of the Mahatma Gandhi Circle, has sparked shock, disbelief and anger on social media. Skywalks across the city have largely benefited only advertisers and this, too, is widely seen as following the same path.

An appeal to save the space, posted on Facebook by Srinivasa Raju, articulated the collective pain: "The entire beauty of this spot is going to be lost soon with the skywalk taking shape right across. Let's get together to save this beautiful circle, which is the face of MG Road and an entry point to Cubbon Park."

The post struck a chord with all those who had campaigned against the steel flyover and demolition of the Krumbiegal Hall, when it read: "We need to take all necessary measures to see that this splendid part of Bengaluru remains the same for years to come. We have already lost good part of MG Road. Let us not repeat the mistakes done in the past."

Yet to recover from the wanton demolition of the heritage Krumbeigal Hall in Lalbagh, the famed botanist's great granddaughter Alyia Phelps-Gardiner Krumbiegel joined in the appeal.

She said: "Every community and society has a very precious heritage, which has to be and can be transferred to the next generation. It is the responsibility of the civil society to transfer that heritage to the next generation. Please stand up and take note. Let's not have another Krumbiegel Hall."

Activist Sridhar Pabbisetty called it another eyesore in the making that benefits the advertising mafia. "No study has been done to help determine pedestrians' needs," he said, echoing public sentiments.

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