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 from all walks of life – doctors, advocates, civil servants, software engineers, business persons, house wives and students and so on.

Sankey Park Walkers Association, Sadashivanagar Residents Welfare Association, Lower Palace Orchards Residents Welfare Association, Malleshwaram Swabhimana Initiative, Hasiru Usiru, Sadashivnagar Working Professionals Group and Gayatridevi Park Residents Welfare Association came under one roof for the cause of preserving the existing green cover of Sankey Road. It is under threat from unscientifically planned road widening.

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 mobilise 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 plan to cut almost all the Majestic Avenue trees lining on this stretch without assessing the 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.

The government is already in the process of widening CV Raman Road 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 route is not significantly more than the proposed corridor.

Widening this stretch of road to three 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 metres of road width on either side and at the cost of at least 30 fully grown 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.

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.

We wish to bring to your notice there are four major schools within immediate vicinity of the road – Stella Maris, Poorna Pragna, Kendriya Vidalaya and Government Boys School. We are apprehensive that school children and senior citizens will be exposed to undue risk in crossing this road.

Our apprehensions

– The mere fact that this road widening has been mentioned under the new Comprehensive Development Plan (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. Whether a suitable scheme has been formulated by BDA as per law and publicised and objections documented is not clear.

– Whether statutory approvals from Technical Advisory Committee of BBMP have been obtained or not?.

– Is the proposal in compliance with the judgment of the High Court of Karnataka with respect to PIL and judgments delivered in WP No 7107/2008 filed by the Environment Support Group and others?

– 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 or not?

Our plea

– Halt the project and maintain statusquo till extensive public debate and expert independent opinion is elicited on 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.   ⊕

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