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Koramangala - new mall on Agara Lake to choke Sarjapur Road?

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Urban Development

Remember this accusation made seven months ago? refer DH article from May:

The protesters said that the BDA has proposed a signal free corridor, with four underpasses at Koramangala-check-post, St John’s Hospital junction, Krupanidhi College junction and Jakkasandra junction, to help a builder who has proposed to construct a mall close to the Agara Lake

Its a different matter if this really was the story behind these now-stuck Koramangala underpasses. But the mall does seem to be coming up. Just south of the area where some of us dreamt of a "Challaghatta Park", construction work seems to be on, right here, marked on the map below:

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So what do we think about this mall? No point' discussing whether its needed and all. But what happens to transportation planning for this area? The road next to it is considered to be a arterial/radial trunk. What should be expected of large commercial or residential buildings coming up on arterial roads? And being so close to the lake, are any lake-bed area related norms being violated. Perhaps not, but worth an ask.

Comments

silkboard's picture

ask for building plan through RTI?

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Might be a dangerous territory here, but purely from understanding the transportation plan angle of constructing a mall bang on a heavy today and heavier tomorrow traffic carrying arterial road, should we ask for the building plan (either sanctioned, or the application itself) for this rumored mall?

murali772's picture

already at it

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@ SB - Alongside the "mall" development is also the 62-acre Shantinagar Co-op House Building Society development, which is also mired in all kinds of controversies (check this). Together, these are going to add to the traffic nightmare that Koramangala already is. The matter is already under discussion on PRAJA here, and some Koramangala Civil Society groups are already seized of the matter.

The long term answer to all of these however perhaps lies here.

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

What's the problem?

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What should be expected of large commercial or residential buildings coming up on arterial roads? .... a mall bang on a heavy today and heavier tomorrow traffic carrying arterial road

Unless land use violations have occurred, don't see what the issue here is. Are malls expeceted to be built on narrow roads, if not on arterial roads? Don't large commercial or residential buildings in any city come up on wide, arterial roads to provide adequate access?

these are going to add to the traffic nightmare that Koramangala already is

Almost every locality in bangalore is a traffic nightmare, not just koramangala - in fact, almost all localities in every city see huge traffic, so what's new about it? In fact the entire national games complex & other developments that came up further were on tank bed.

srinidhi's picture

location looks like encroached

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Going by the map posted above, the location looks like being on the Bellandur lake bed..the  builders probably have got the approvals from LDA and other govt depts..with connections or with  money..

This will need to get probed well..

Also was thinking if all that area can be handed/leased over to the Army..they have a firing range there anyways..that will keep the encroachers away...let them have it for say 10-15 years and by then if some sanity has come into our people and they feel they can safe guard their heritage themselves..they can take it back!

silkboard's picture

Don't alter the question that way Naveen

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Whether a mall should be allowed to come up or not isn't, and can't be the question. Who is to say what should come up where (perhaps only the CDP/masterplan can). But, what should be expected of a large mall, or even a large residential complex coming on an well known and marked out trunk route is worth a question.

What I mean is this. Our city has identified Sarjapur Road as a trunk (The road connects a fast growing satellite cluster etc, Big10 runs on it today, BPS may, some day :) ). The priority should be to keep the trunk well managed for transportation. What if:

  • This mall has a security gate @ entrance right on Sarjapur Road, so that if vehicles line up, the queue would take up a lane on Sarjapur Road?
  • The mall doesn't provide space for auto-rickshaw stand
  • The mall is asked to provide space for a Bus Bay so that nearby residents take note and find Bus as an attractive option to come to the mall
  • The mall demands a cut in the road median, like how some petrol bunks do. Should you or should you not allow that?
  • Should the mall be asked to widen the road width at points where an incrase in "U turns" would be expected due to traffic headed its way?

Nothing wrong with a mall. But if on a identified trunk/corridor, some scrutiny and attention to details may be required.

@Srinidhi - The lake bed part is a separate question though.

Naveen's picture

Still do not see an issue

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large mall, or even a large residential complex coming on an well known and marked out trunk route is worth a question….Our city has identified Sarjapur Road as a trunk

Who may I ask, has “marked” this road as a “trunk route” & since when?

Earlier, the argument by the so-called Koramangala saviors was that Sirsi circle-Agara “signal-free” corridor was unnecessary as Sarjapur rd was not a trunk route since it connected a residential area & that Hosur road & ORR were the trunk routes that needed improvement, which was fine. Now, this position is being changed & it is being conveniently termed “trunk route” to oppose constructions due to ‘traffic problems’. Well, this land lies outside Koramangala & isn’t any business of the Koramangala saviours – better they stick to their own layout & try to improve things within their area.

Koramangala’s traffic problems are its own making. What were the Koramangala saviors doing when there was gross & rampant violation of land use & building violations within their own colony? Why did they allow builders to convert tank beds & put up towers? Why did they not oppose rampant commercialization within their own area? Having ignored things & blinded by “good developments” they now face horrendous traffic & seem to want to train their guns on all sides outside their own messy precinct in the vain hope that “Koramangala traffic would reduce”.

The mall location on the map is within ORR & also clear off ORR. ORR has overpasses & also busways. So, unless there are concerns of lake bed encroachment as mentioned by Srinidhi, I still don’t understand what the issue is.

What about malls & towers coming up on Bellary rd within ORR near Hebbal? Or on real 'trunk routes' such as Bellary rd, OMR, ORR, etc? Are they to be opposed too since they are trunk roads & “traffic is a problem”?

silkboard's picture

How else do you go to Sarjapur Road Ribbon area from CBD?

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From CBD, this is the road that connects Sarjapur Suburb. And someone picked this is a Big10 route (must have had some data behind the pick). And then, like you say, underpasses are being built on this route with focus on connectivuty to either HSR Layout or Sarjapur Road ribbon area (don't know which one is the driver for underpasses). So, whether there is any official seal or not, this is being seen as a trunk route.

Again, you are using the terms "malls to be opposed". Don't se it that way. Build whatever you want, and where you want.. But perhaps the trunk route large constructions and neghborhood road mid/large constructions need to have something in the bylaws to addres the "status" of the road.

Naveen's picture

FAR based on width

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the trunk route large constructions and neghborhood road mid/large constructions need to have something in the bylaws to addres the "status" of the road

BDA byelaws clearly specify FAR wrt road width related restrictions, not based on weather they are 'trunk' routes or any other such category - I doubt if such construction limitations are prescribed anywhere based on road categorization.

silkboard's picture

Is just FAR enough?

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Naveen, okay. I was thinking more things than just FAR, like

  • Space for Bus Bay
  • pedestrian holding zone on the media (as large number of people could be expected to cross the road)
  • introducing new cut in the media only where extra width can be acquired/provided for either a waiting turn lane or enough to have a 16ft long vehicle complete a U-turn.
  • If there is blockage (gate etc) at entry to the developed area, having enough holding space for vehicles waiting at the blockage.

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