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 CMs parting gift for Koramangala residents

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PostSubject: CMs parting gift for Koramangala residents   Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:10 pm

CMs parting gift for Koramangala residents


He set up a new committee to look into their concerns about the Sarjapur signal-free corridor project after the first one ignored them

Manasi Paresh Kumar manasi.pk@timesgroup.com


The residents of Koramangala had all but given up hope on getting the government to listen to their concerns on the BDAs ambitious Sarjapur signal-free corridor project.They were branded as rioters,faced criminal charges and even forced to get bail in their efforts to save the green cover of the city and point out serious flaws in the project design.Their hopes were then pinned on the four-member committee,headed by additional chief secretary Subir HariSingh,setupbythechiefminister after he visited the site to meditate between the two warring parties.But it went down the drain when the committee,after one meeting,heard only the BDA and wanted to go ahead with a revised plan submitted by its commissioner Pradeep Singh Karola.But the outgoing chief minister has given the citizens another shot in the arm with one last stroke of his pen.
Call it a parting gift from D V Sadananda Gowda,who demitted office on Sunday,he had disbanded the committee last Friday and issued fresh orders for a new group to look into the matter.
We met the BDA commissioner beforehepresentedtherevisedplanto the committee a couple of times.But he did not hear us out on any of the issues.We had no idea when the committee even met and found out only later about it.So the question of talking to the committee members was not a possibility at all, says Nitin Sheshadri of the Koramangala Infrastructure Task Force.
Sources within the bureaucratic circle told BANGALORE MIRROR,The four-member committee headed by Subir Hari Singh also included additional commissioner (traffic) M A Saleem,principal secretary (urban development ) Amrita Prasad and Sitaram from CSTUP.
The aim was to hear both parties but that did not happen.
The final straw,which decided the matter,wasProfSitaramwritingtothe committee putting it bluntly that the revised project violated norms set by the Indian Road Congress and therefore is not feasible.
The new revised project included reducing the width of the road from 7.5 metres to 7 metres (thereby reducingthesizeoflandacquisition )andreducing the depth of the underpass from 5.5 metres to 4.5 metres.
This was vetoed by the technical advisor.Though the revisions were done to mollify the protesting citizens,ironically it increased the number of trees that would be cut down for the project from 88 to 238.
Finally,theCMdecidedtodisband the group and set up a new one to look into the matter afresh.
The new project is expected to be headedbyKaushikMukherjee,principal secretary (forests).Amrita Prasad and M A Saleem will be retained but the number of independent consultants may go up from one to two.
Ashwin Mahesh is one of the names doing the rounds,but nothing is finalised, say sources.
Meanwhile,the residents who are in the dark about the new committee say they would be happy if they can just get somebody to listen to them.
If they hear us out,that alone will begreat,saysPankajKapur,aresident of the area.
BDA commissioner Pradeep Singh Karolarefusedtocommentontheproject or on the new committee
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