Save Sankey Road and Park sign now

9th May 2010
SAVE SANKEY ROAD AND PARK FORUM

We wish to introduce ourselves under the aegis of the SAVE SANKEY ROAD AND PARK FORUM.

We comprise of people all walks of life- doctors, advocates, civil servants, software engineers, business persons, house wives and students etc..

The primary objective of our coming together under this umbrella forum is our concern to preserve the existing green cover of Sankey Road which is under threat from unscientifically planned road widening, and improving the ecological factors that influence quality of life leading to better health and well being.

To ensure that there is no damage to the sensitive ecology of Sankey Lake and its surrounding biodiversity by the proposed corridor project.

MISSION

To engage in a constructive dialogue with all civic authorities in any ongoing (or future) project involving the road widening scheme as announced by BBMP in the traffic corridor project from Cauvery junction to Yeshwanthpur.

To mobilize mass opinion against the grossly unscientific basis on which this project is conceived by the authorities.

To highlight the disastrous environmental impact of this project.

To sensitise the authorities to involve local citizens groups in projects like this which have wide ranging impact on local populations

WE OPPOSE THIS PROJECT IN ITS PRESENT FORM FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS

There are already multiple major bottlenecks in traffic flow right from Windsor Manor junction onwards which include the Guttahalli overpass, Bellary Road, Cauvery junction, Bhashyam Circle, 18th Cross Malleshwaram junction and Maramma circle.
We are opposed to the concept of a 6 lane signal free corridor on this road due as it is essentially unscientifically planned. We are opposed to the plan to cut almost all the majestic avenue trees lining this stretch without assessing the deleterious ecological consequences.

The fundamental flaw is that there is lack of an integrated overall master plan which should look comprehensively at the entire gamut of traffic dynamics including Cauvery junction, Bhashyam signal, 18th cross and Maramma circle. Further the Metro / HSRL / Monorail corridors are also planned on or adjacent to these roads, hence the need to have a completely integrated master plan which will address these additional challenges, which at present have not been adequately researched into.

We also emphasize that the government is already in the process of widening CV Raman Rd and Bellary Road. In our opinion this itself constitutes a suitable corridor for traffic to flow from Cauvery junction to CNR Rao circle. The length of this is route is not significantly more than the proposed corridor. We wish to question the very relevance of this project in view of the fact is Government already widening two connecting corridors.

We feel that the existing width of the road from Cauvery to Bhashyam signal is quite sufficient for the present traffic conditions. Even during peak hours the traffic back up at Bhashyam signal is quite moderate. Widening this stretch of road to 3 lanes again is completely illogical in view of the fact that the Cauvery underpass is only one lane wide. The traffic dynamics on this stretch will not be significantly affected just by adding a couple of meters of road width on either side and at the cost of at least 30 fully grown avenue trees on either side of this road.

The tree cover along the Sadashivanagar Main Road is probably one of the last few untouched green avenues left in Bangalore. Many of these trees had been planted at the time of the Maharajas Orchards. Even today they are in good health and provide valuable protection against the increasing vehicular pollution on the road.

You may note that even today the road is predominantly residential in character. There are 4 major Apartment Blocks located on either side of this road.

The proposed corridor will run contiguous to the Stella Maris school with barely any gap between the road and adjacent school building this raises concerns about the resultant effect of noise / vehicular pollution on school children.
The proposed corridor is also involve extensive changes at 18th Cross junction including partial demolition of Ayyappa Temple and felling of numerous fully grown massive rain trees in the Sankey park.

Numerous studies have shown road widening by itself does not lead to substantial improvements in traffic flow in the long term. At the rate at which the vehicular population is exploding, any road width is bound to become insufficient over a period of time. Infact the construction of overpass/underpass itself is controversial in view of the fact that the traffic congestion merely gets shifted to the next junction.

Road widening entails significant danger to pedestrian population. It will become increasingly dangerous for pedestrians to cross this road if it is converted into a high speed 6 lane arterial corridors. We wish to bring to your notice there are four major schools within immediate vicinity of the road STELLA MARIS, POORNA PRAGNA, KV and GOVT BOYS SCHOOLS. We are apprehensive that school children and senior citizens will be exposed to undue risk in crossing this road .

OUR APPREHENSIONS

a.Whether all the norms stipulated under the KTCP Act and Tree Preservation Act have been complied with. The mere fact that this road widening has been mentioned under the new CDP does not give BBMP powers to go ahead without following the procedures as laid down under Sec 14 of the Karnataka Town and County Planning Act.

b.Whether a suitable scheme has been formulated by BDA as per law and publicized and objections documented
c.Whether statutory approvals from Technical Advisory Committee of BBMP have been obtained
.
d.Environmental audit study may not have completely assessed the impact of this corridor on the sensitive ecology and biodiversity of the Sankey tank area and its surroundings which are home to numerous species of migratory bird life.

e.Compliance with judgment of High Court of Karnataka with respect to PIL and judgments delivered in WP No 7107/2008 filed by the Environment Support Group and others.

f.Whether independent traffic consultant survey has reviewed all aspects of this project especially in view of the Metro and Monorail projects which should conceivably reduce traffic significantly on this corridor.

g.Budgetary proposal / estimates / sanction for above project-project cost has escalated from Rs 30 cr to Rs 33 cr due to re-tendering.


h.What is the cost of providing overpass/underpasses at each of the intervening junctions? Will the entire project cost justify its necessity and utility?

OUR PLEA
Halt the project and maintain statusquo till extensive public debate and expert independent opinion is elicited on project necessity and viability and suggestion of technical feasibility to maintain this as a 4 lane arterial road.

Detailed study on the Impact of the alternative corridor (CV Raman Road and Bellary Road) and Impact of metro/monorail on traffic density which we think will significantly ease traffic congestion and hence Cauvery junction to CNR Rao Circle 6 lane corridor may not be necessary at all.

Embark on aggressive tree planting drive immediately.

Constitution of a citizen watchdog committee with independent experts to review all aspects of the project.

We demand that BBMP must acquire the adjacent 7 acre vacant private property in public interest to protect the local biodiversity.

Numerous other roads in Bangalore are similarly likely to be widened with consequent disastrous ecological degradation and loss of green cover. It is our view that government must encourage alternative forms of mass transport, including dedicated bus and cycling corridors. Road widening is not the panacea for Bangalores traffic problems given the exponential rate at which vehicular population is exploding.

SIGNATORIES TO THE PETITION

SANKEY PARK WALKERS ASSOCIATION
B R VIJAYAKUMAR

SADASHIVNAGAR RESIDENTS WELFARE ASSOCIATION
MR JAGADISH CHANDRA

MALLESHWARAM SWABHIMANA INITIATIVE
Mr A P SIRUR

LOWER PALACE ORCHARDS RESIDENTS WELFARE ASSOCIATION
MR ANIL KUMAR

HASIRU USURU
MR VINAY SREENIVASA

WORKING PROFESSIONALS GROUP SADASHIVNAGAR
MS AISHWARYA RATAN

GAYATRIDEVI PARK RESIDENTS WELFARE ORGANISATION
MR JAYARAM

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Information

Lula NealBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
BBMP, Government of Karnataka and others concerned

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