Hasiru Usiru, a network of community organisations, residents associations, project affected communities, voluntary organisations and individuals concerned about protecting equitable access to public spaces such as roads and parks in Bengaluru, invite you to participate in a Walk to Reclaim Bengaluru on November 9th 2008, at 11 am at Lalbagh West Gate. The key purpose is to highlight the extensive damage that road-widening and Metro projects are causing to the city, destroying in the process lives, livelihoods and thousands of trees. This walk is also to demand an inclusive planning process in shaping our city and ensuring that short-sighted, elite induced, infrastructure development, does not cause irreversible damage to the city and ruin the lives of thousands.
The most endangered species in this city of ours is the pedestrian….the combination of the IT boom and the government policies is that the poor person who tries to use the roads without polluting with fossil fuel emissions is almost certainly doomed.
Everywhere, the pavements are dug up erratically, in several places, the footpath has been reduced to make more space for the gas-guzzling monsters that are necessary to the new boom-city which still does not have a good public transport service. The most recent example in point is the digging up of the M G Road boulevard, long a bastion for the pedestrian, to make way for the Metro, which, admittedly, is a crying need for our city.
Let’s look at the difficulties a reasonably fit person who wants to walk has to face.