The residents of Borewell Road in Whitefield are a worried lot. This once-peaceful, residential stretch is being targeted for road widening – for the second time in six years! This will result in many old homes and new apartments being demolished.
Six years ago, the compound walls of homes were illegally razed and the road was widened on either side by 8 ft. All this, while the authorities claimed helpless to intervene and stop this act. Residents had to re-build their walls and repair their homes at their own expense. Now, six years later, this spectre has resurrected, to haunt them again.
On Monday, 5 August 2013, at about 3 pm, notices were issued to residents stating that up to 8 metres (over 25 ft) of their properties would be acquired, once again, for road widening. The notices dated 25 March, 2013 were served to residents only on 5 August 2013.
The notice issued by the BBMP Roads/ Infrastructure division says that in accordance with RMP 2015, Nallurahalli Main road (Borewell road) that connects SH 35 and Vaidehi Hospital main road, will be widened to make it a 24-meters wide road (80 feet). Under KTCP act, those whose property is being acquired have to apply for TDR right away – within 15 days of receiving the notice. If there’s no application for TDR, BBMP will proceed with legal steps to acquire the properties.
Callousness of BBMP
As the notice had no official seal, signature or proper residential address, affected residents visited the Mahadevapura BBMP office for confirmation. The clerk on duty verified that the notices were indeed authentic, and when residents protested that this would result in demolition of their homes, his callous answer was “So what? I don’t even own a home!”
For whose benefit is this road being widened? Is it to benefit those working in ITPL and the EPIP Zone who have begun using this road as a shortcut to avoid delays at the traffic signal at Hope Farm junction? Or is it being done to facilitate the sale of hundreds of new apartments that have sprung up on narrow roads beyond Borewell Road, without proper infrastructure, water or sewage lines?
Obviously, the only ones who will not benefit from road widening are the residents themselves, some of who have been living here for over 30 years.
However, there is an alternate. Borewell Road can be made one-way, whilst the parallel Devi Karumari Amma Temple Road can be made one way in the opposite direction. Both roads finally end up near Vaidehi Hospital. This would be a win-win situation for all, and should be seriously considered.
It certainly is not right that residents were not consulted regarding development of their own neighbourhood. What was conceived, arbitrarily, as part of a Comprehensive Development Plan seems to be more of a Comprehensive “Destruction” Plan – at least, for the residents of Borewell Road.