Despite soothing noises made by city in-charge Ministers R. Ashok and Katta Subramanya Naidu, Mayor S.K. Nataraj and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner Siddaiah on reviewing the roads proposed to be widened, Bangaloreans remain suspicious.
Among those spending sleepless nights are the anguished residents of Prestige Monte Carlo on Doddaballapur Road. Maj. (retd.) Amit Chatterjee, a resident, told The Hindu that early last month, the BBMP authorities had made the dreaded red marking on the southern side of the building. The nine-metre wide village road from Ananthapura Gate to Ramagondanahalli, which hardly sees any traffic, is slated to be widened to 18 metres.
At a great cost
“That means that roughly 15 feet from our property will be acquired. This will affect the complex's entire domestic water storage, filtration and distribution system; underground static water storage tanks for fire fighting, fire engine pumps, a motorable driveway, a sewage treatment plant for wastewater management, rainwater harvesting installations and multiple storm water recharge cells.”
V. Anand, retired general manager of Southern Railway, said that as per the Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2015, the road could be expanded to a four-lane way. “The officials have begun work on making it a six-lane one. The village road need not be widened.” According to the Indian Road Congress guidelines, a two-lane road needs widening (to a four-lane) only if it sees more than 10,000 vehicles a day, said S.S. Manta, a resident who is a retired Chief Engineer of Eastern Railways.
“However, the road hardly sees any traffic. If it is widened, the 440 flats in 11 blocks here will become uninhabitable. The basement retaining wall will collapse due to the live-load reaction.”
Road-widening work has been taken up further down the village road. Maj. Chatterjee said the residents plan to take legal recourse. “We have formally objected to the widening and met the previous Commissioner Bharat Lal Meena. We have written to the authorities,” he said. It is the same story with residents across the city. In the other part of the town, residents of apartments on Bannerghatta Road are up in arms. T. Sharma told The Hindu that they had written to the BBMP spurning the TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) offer. “The authorities cannot be trusted as money involved is huge. Every day, contradictory statements are made,” he said. Asked about the widening of the village road, Commissioner Siddaiah said that there was no question of widening the road beyond what was permissible as per RMP 2015.