Anil Kumar Sastry
Seshadri Road regulars mourn the end of soothing green canopy
BANGALORE: Paying the price for development was a painful experience for frequent users of Sir K. Seshadri Iyer Road, popularly called Seshadri Road, on Wednesday.
Once covered by a thick canopy of trees, pedestrians not only had to endure the blazing sun because of the felling of some massive, old trees, but they also had to negotiate huge mounds of the branches carelessly left on the footpath.
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities started felling the trees on Monday and the drive continued on Wednesday.
There was debris on both the footpath as well on the road, which sees heavy pedestrian and vehicle movement.
Pedestrians, particularly commuters waiting for buses in front of S.J. Polytechnic, were squeezed on to the road, braving oncoming traffic. The area houses quite a few educational institutions.
R. Rangarajan, who regularly uses Seshadri Road on his routine visits to several offices, was choked with emotion on seeing the tree trunks lying strewn about.
Confessing that he was really pained at the sight, he said, “How long will they go on widening the roads? If road widening is the only solution to address the ever-increasing traffic problem, then there will be roads and roads alone at some point of time in future.”
A government employee, who did not wish to be identified, blamed the traffic chaos here on the closure of Devraj Urs Road that connects Basaveshwara Circle (Chalukya Hotel) and Gopala Gowda Circle between the present Vikasa Soudha and the Vidhana Soudha in 2003.
“Initially, there was no plan to close the road, and a subway was constructed to connect the Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha. However, all of a sudden, the plan was changed and the road was closed abruptly ostensibly for security reasons,” he said. This was unnecessary as security could have been ensured even otherwise.
Seshadri Road used to be one of the oldest tree-lined avenues in the city along with Nrupathunga Road, K.R. Road, Sampige Road and Margosa Road.
While Nrupathunga Road is losing its canopy to road widening, K.R. Road has lost the cover because of the Metro rail work.