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BATPIC network launched

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BATPIC (Bangalore Road Widening and Other Urban Transport Projects Impacted Communities Unite) Network launched with the objective of pursuing urban transport projects that are socially just, economically viable, environmentally friendly and long lasting solutions

Summary of the joint statement:

  • Over the past decade, Bangalore has seen an unsustainable rise in the use of personal modes of travel causing massive traffic jams and wastage of time, fuel and people's resources.
  • Due to poor planning and an increasingly insensitive administration, the solutions to these problems tend to serve the needs of the elite, but leave the larger masses unattended.
  • Bangalore as a city will fail to function efficiently if it does not think intelligently to resolve the traffic and transport problem. Overall, private vehicle use hurts families as the cost of owning and using a car or motorbike is ever increasing. Besides, reliance on private modes of travel increases congestion, while also wasting productive time, fossil fuel, causing environmental pollution and thus adversely affecting public health. It should thus be every body's concern to find ways to come out of the current situation.
  • Keeping all these concerns in view, and the fact that despite many efforts over the years State and City Governments are not listening to peoples' genuine concerns and propositions, it has now become essential for various communities directly and indirectly impacted by such decisions to come together and form a city wide alliance.   
  • Bangalore Transportation Projects Impacted Communities Network (BATPIC Network)  will work collectively and collaboratively to secure long lasting and inclusive solutions to urban transportation problems.

For the full text of the joint statement released at a press conference held yesterday, see the attachment

Muralidhar Rao



murali772's picture

The ToI report

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"Our approach to inclusive growth of the city should be by including the voices of people who have intelligent thinking to solve issues like traffic and congestion, rather than just widening roads. Also the public transport share should be increased to 50%," said Muralidhar Rao, founding member, Praja.

For the full report, click here.

I had besides said that a METRO becomes necessary when cities choose to densify (meaning growing vertically). As such, while such a model of growth was necessary for a Hongkong or a Singapore, which have limitations growing outwards, Bangalore could perhaps have been better off shifting a large part of the growth to its satellite towns like Tumkur, Chikballapur, Dodballapur, Malur, Anekal, Ramnagaram, etc by linking them all through fast and reliable commuter rail services. Though this in effect will amount to urban sprawl, it cannot be considered undesirable, since the connectivity is largely based on eco-friendly rail services.

And, for smaller cities, I said the answer lies in efficient public bus transport services, a necessary factor for which is the dismantling of the monopoly of the government in the field (read here for more on that).

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Consensus evolving?

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Seeing the note, a prominent member of the Koramangala Community, responded to Leo as below:

Do be careful, I think the note is too extreme, no metro, no cars etc etc. If we are looked as an extreme point of view, does not help.

Leo responded to the same as below:

Not sure we are saying no to Metro, cars, etc. I felt we were mainly saying public transport projects that are appropriate should be supported more. Importantly we are urging that we should encourage less investment in fossil fuel and capital intensive projects, both of which are increasingly economically unviable.

Rakesh Mohan recently disputed Sreedharan's claims that Metros are viable for 2 m plus cities, arguing instead that any city with less than 5 m population should not push for heavy rail projects. Blore has gone the metro way for altogether diff reasons, so the least we can insist now, and without apologies, is that its expansion is legal, and not as it commenced, illegally.

Hope this clarifies.

Subsequently, a large section of the people who had gathered for the press meet, went for the hearing convened by the Asst Conservator of Forests, Sub-dvn-2, Bangalore, in Jayanagar, in connection with some three proposals for tree felling

  • 46 nos in connection with construction of a grade separator at Kanteerva Stadium (outer ring road between Magadi road jn and Tumkur road jn);
  • 347 nos in connection with construction of a fly-over and underpass ar Sadashivnagar police station jn;
  • 66 nos trees and 154 nos saplings in connection with construction of under-bridge at L C No 4 near Shamanna Garden.

The excerpts from the DNA report (full report may be accessed here) covering the event are reproduced below:

“We want to work with the government. However, you treat us like traitors when we question the validity of the projects and act like thieves when you cut trees in the dead of the night. We want to work with you but we need to be able to trust you,” said Meenakshi Bharat.

Saldanha said it is naive to think that any project is an issue of environment versus development. “The question is about the right choice and the wrong one. We will support you when it is right,” he said.

While officials have decided to wait for the completion of the CNR Rao Circle underpass before taking up the project at Sadashivnagar, the other projects will be made public on websites as well as through public notices and advertisements in the coming days.

Does it looks like the citizens are moderating their approaches, while, at the same time, the officials are beginning to engage with them? One would like to believe that.

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