Coimbatore residents worried about model road work
Need for taking up model road project in the area questioned
More than a month after Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani participated in the ground-breaking ceremony to start the ₹40.70 model road work in Race Course, the residents there are worried than happy.
The cause for their concern, the residents say, is the Coimbatore Corporation’s intransigence on what it proposes to do to improve the area, its failure to take them into confidence by asking the improvement they want and their grievances.
With the corporation starting work in the stretch between the CSI All Souls’ Church and Cosmopolitan Club on the 3-km circular road, the carriage way has reduced resulting in increased traffic congestion and poorer parking space.
The Race Course and Neighbourood Association (RANA) secretary Sathish Balagopal said the residents’ concern were the increased misuse of the area by people consuming liquor, unregulated parking, encroachment of public space and mushrooming of makeshift structures.
Without addressing any of those, if the corporation were to merely relay the walkers’ path and provide space for roadside eateries, it would only worsen the environment there.
RANA committee member J. Sathish said the residents’ objection was not to the corporation creating or improving infrastructure with an eye on people’s health but providing space for eateries as that would lead to more congestion and deterioration in hygiene.
Even in the present condition, the residents were unable to take their cars on the roads as parked cars on both sides of the exit blocked road visibility, Mr. Balagopal rued.
A Race Course resident, N.K. Velu, wondered what was the corporation’s motive behind replacing the well-laid and even walkers’ path when there was no demand or complaint from the residents or regular walkers.
Even the dividers that demarcated garden from the walkers’ path were intact. What the Corporation was doing under the Model Road project suggested that its intention was other than developing the area.
Civic and consumer activist K. Kathirmathiyon has also questioned the corporation’s need for taking up model road project in Race Course.
What the civic body should have done was take up a poorly developed area to make it a second Race Course for Coimbatore.
What it was doing in Race Course was only replacing the existing infrastructure and not any improvement. It should have aimed at creating a Race Course-like facility in another part of the city and that would have added real meaning to Coimbatore being a Smart City.