Saturday, November 29, 2008

Walk Again to Reclaim Bengaluru Today

Walk Again to Reclaim

Bengaluru Today 

To awaken Public, BBMP officials and Government, the Hasiru Usiru has organised 'Walk to Reclaim Bangaloru' at Town Hall at 5 pm. Here is the letter of appeal to all by the organisation to join the walk to make it a grand success. Your can also watch the video film produced by nine year old boy Pathiv Shah here (click) in PARYAYA, which depicts the Walk of 9 November 2008 to reclaim Bangalore. Here is the flyer created by Hasiru Usiru explaining how Bangalore Transport could be improved.

Parthiv Shah, a nine year old boy, came to the Hasire Usiru organised "Walk to Reclaim Bengaluru" on 9th November with a video camera.  He did not know how to use it, and less so to edit the film. So enthused was he by what he had participated in, that he decided to make a short film on the Walk. Watch this impressive video where he is raising some really big and critical issues for our common attention:

Hundreds walked with Parthiv on that Sunday certain that Bangalore's problem of traffic congestion could not be resolved by road widening.  What's more, they knew it was illegal.

For hundreds who would lose their properties (homes and businesses), there is no compensation - only a promissory note called a TDR, without market value. For tenants, sorry no compensation.  

No space left to plant trees. No space left for street vendors.  No space for street children. No space to walk or cycle.

For all the trouble, and destruction of our city, that widening over 100 roads would put us through, Bangalore's streets would be filled up with vehicles in less than five years.  

This is mathematical certainly: because 1,500 vehicles are being added every day and nothing is being done to make people drive less.  Will our authorities want to widen roads again in five years?  

How many more homes and businesses will they destroy then? Of course, then, they would not have any trees left to cut.

As intelligent, concerned and logical people, we must take charge of our city.  There are solutions that do not require making Bangalore a free for all motorways - killing and maiming hundreds.  

That is what road widening has already done - when in the rush to provide connectivity to the new airport, engineers and planners (Commissioners and Administrators) simply forgot that people cross roads. And that safe pedestrian crossings are an essential feature of road design.

Study any or all of the designs for widening the 91 roads presently proposed, and it will be clear that there is simply no consideration for the Rights and Needs of pedestrians, cyclists, elderly, children, differently abled, etc. who also use our roads.  

Something is maddeningly wrong about this road widening project.

Besides this mega project of road widening (costing Rs. 4,000 crores at least - that only for civil engineering) Bangalore is also being forced to accept a Metro that runs on elevated tracks, reducing road space, destroying our parks (Lal Bagh, Lakshman Rao Park, K. R. Road Park - already destroyed).  

The Metro can go underground, even if it would make it twice as expensive.  

All that the Government needs to do is stop investing in wasteful projects such as super high speed rail links for air travellers and elevated roads for the elite (they aren't paying these costs anyway).  And put that money in the Metro and take it underground.  

That way, Bangalore will be able to retain its present charm and be ready for the future.

But for all this to happen, you need to step out and Join the CAMPAIGN TO RECLAIM BENGALURU. 

Again! Yes. Again!

Come with friends, family and colleagues to Town Hall, on 29th November 2008, Saturday, 5-7 pm. Be there to make your city your own.

Please circulate this message widely, along with the  flyer.  

Please call 2244197 or email to confirm your participation.

Environment Support Group Team, Hasiru Usiru - a progressive network of individuals and organisations to protect public and social spaces.

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