Bengaluru’s Namma Metro pillar beautification progress upsets residents; BMRCL joins hands with corporates for more enhancement

According to data accessed by The Hindu, there are 1,987 piers in Bengaluru, if which only 918 were beautified as on August 11

Updated - August 28, 2023 07:43 am IST

Published - August 17, 2023 05:08 pm IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of volunteers of The Ugly Indian painting Namma Metro pillars between Swami Vivekananda Road and Baiyappanahalli metro stations, on Old Madras Road, in Bengaluru.

A file photo of volunteers of The Ugly Indian painting Namma Metro pillars between Swami Vivekananda Road and Baiyappanahalli metro stations, on Old Madras Road, in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Bengaluru

With waste and garbage strewn around them and posters plastered on their facade, the concrete pillars that support the Namma Metro lines often mirrors the city’s civic apathy. Except for the recently inaugurated metro line and the M.G. Road route, the city's metro pillars largely lack aesthetic appeal.

While various NGOs and private establishments, driven by corporate social responsibility, have actively participated in enhancing the aesthetics of metro pillars, residents of Bengaluru have expressed dissatisfaction with BMRCL for their perceived lack of efforts in beautification, while the metro authorities requests citizens to refrain from spoiling the medians by putting garbage and the by putting unauthorized posters on piers as it defeats the efforts and funds invested by the Corporates.

Namma Metro pier painting status on August 11, 2023

RouteFromToNo. of PiersPainted PiersRemarks
R-1M G RoadBaiyappanahalli259237
R-1 ExtensionK R PuraWhitefield423410
R-2Magadi RoadMysuru Road2100Work in Progress
R-2 ExtensionNayandahalliKengeri2500
R-3Sampige Road(Mantri Square) Yeshwantpur1950Work in Progress
R-3AYeshwantpurJalahalli1110
R-3BJalahalliNagasandra910
R-4National CollegeR V Road143143
R-4ABanashankariYelachenahalli128128
R-4BYelachenahalliSilk Institute1770
Total1,987918

Mohan Kumar, a resident of Rajajinagar, said, “Most of the metro pillars along the Green Line appear unsightly due to numerous posters affixed by the public. BMRCL must address this issue by taking action against those responsible for the posters. Pillars near Yeshwantpur, Dasarahalli and 8th mile are the worst. Beautifying the pillars would discourage people from defacing them with such posters.”

Median garden shows signs of deterioration

Residents are also raising concerns about the deteriorating state of the greenery in the median, which are marred by garbage. Negligence in maintaining these gardens is evident, drawing attention to the pressing need for remedial action, they said.

Geetha Naik, a resident of Jayanagar, said, “The garden on the median beneath the metro pillars is in a deplorable state, with the authorities failing to maintain it adequately. The median garden is littered with garbage, plastic, and waste materials. Moreover, the neglect in watering the garden has led to the demise of numerous plants.”

Corporates hesitate to paint pillar: BMRCL

Since the inception of the metro in the city, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has collaborated with corporate entities to enhance the aesthetics of the medians and pillars. Alongside the construction of elevated metro structures, decorative plants have been planted along road medians. Corporates have been taking orders, not only to beautify these spaces, but also to utilise them for advertising, having rented the space from BMRCL. This initiative encompasses maintaining medians, painting pillars, and embellishing viaducts.

But, metro officials say, corporates are now hesitating citing high cost.

Kalpana Kataria, executive director of BMRCL, told The Hindu, “Initially, we had engaged corporate entities solely for the upkeep of greenery in the stations. As the initiative proved successful, we decided to extend corporate involvement to the enhancement of pillars and viaducts. This innovative approach was first implemented in Whitefield, where the corporates interested in Median Garden Development along with pier painting are permitted to install one display board in the Median Garden and one logo on the pier of the company. We are now endeavouring to collaborate with companies for other stations as well. But, the work incurs significant costs, making the process of persuasion challenging. But, now we are directing corporates that those interested in maintaining the station gardens must also undertake the responsibility of painting the pillars and viaduct.”

“Since, BMRCL in collaboration with Corporates is putting lot of efforts for the development of median garden and painting of piers for beautification of the city, citizens are requested to refrain from spoiling the medians by putting garbage and the by putting unauthorized posters on piers as it defeats the efforts and funds invested by the Corporates,” Ms Kalpana Kataria added.

According to data accessed by The Hindu, the city has 1,987 piers, of which 918 are beautified by BMRCL with the help of various NGOs and corporates as on August 11.

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