Archive for the ‘Namma Metro’ Category

Be the Change You Want to See

Crisis in Bangalore: Traffic is destroying this city

Do any of these frustrate you on a daily basis?
* Being stuck in a traffic jam for hours on end
* Seeing Bangalore being destroyed day by day
* Lack of respect for pedestrian movement
* High air pollution levels
* Huge, beautiful trees being hacked down

So far we have been waiting for SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE to do SOMETHING about the crisis. Nobody is doing anything about it.

We are trying to form a city-wide group of people with skills, time and passion who are willing to do something about this crisis.
Be the change you want to see. Come and join Hasiru Usiru, and the Environment Support Group, in making Bangalore a better place to live.

Date : Sunday, April 6
Time : 3 pm.

We will have a talk detailing the crisis, and describe possible solutions. We’ll then have a discussion on how we can go about implementing them.

Venue: Environment Support Group
105, East End ‘B’ Main Road
Jayanagar 9th Block East
Bangalore – 560069.


(From East End Circle in Jayanagar, go towards Jayadeva Hospital.
Turn left just before the Reebok showroom. ESG is on the right, behind the Reebok showroom).

Three kinds of flowers….

This photograph shows the three kinds of flowers that most Bengalureans are used to….

three kinds of flowers btm layout 110308

On the extreme left is a florist. Floriculture is a major business in Bangalore, and indeed, of this part of Karnataka. Cut flowers are exported to all parts of the world from here; and one can get excellent Dutch roses, for example, or even exotic-looking orchids, for really very reasonable rates here.

The pavement stall, of course, deals with the traditional flowers….marigolds, roses, jasmine, and such flowers, which are either sold loose or strung together to form garlands, and are sold for city-dwellers to use in worship.

And above the little stall is a wonderful heritage that we have….that’s the Tacoma Argentina, whose leafless trees are a blaze of yellow at this time, and whose carpet of yellow on the road heralds the arrival of summer. Dr Krumbiegel, the German botanist, was responsible for the planting of trees in Bangalore in such a way that there is always some variety of avenue tree in flower….the African Tulip, Akasha Mallige, Jacaranda, various kinds of Tabebuia, the Gulmohar, the Copper Pod….

The way we are losing trees in Bangalore, I wonder how long we will enjoy this third category of flowers…..!

Now you see it, soon you won’t

Namma Metro’s ulsoor station on the Reach One alignment is proposed to be built on the premises where the police quarters are situated currently. Here’s a pic of the same.


Take a good look at them because shortly, they are scheduled to be demolished. Fortunately, being government owned quarters, its occupants have had no choice but to vacate. Here’s the news extract about the demolition from the Deccan Herald.

Bangalore…now and then!

Bangalore…now and then

Bangalore has always been special for me. This is where I have spent ten of my thirty and odd years in addition to brief stints for holidays during childhood. This is where I met my first love, had my first heartbreak, learned to be tough and get on with life.

Except for three years in Chennai, I have never really been outside the state for very long. And going to other places has only made me realize how lucky I am to be a part of this young, vibrant, beautiful city.

For those who were not here a few decades back, here is a perspective:

Is Metro Derailed??

Is Metro Derailed?

We may have to wait longer than expected for ‘Namma Metro’ due to eight writ petitions against this mega project in the courts. Some petitions of them are filed by few of those whose land has been acquired for the project, while some demand a change in proposed route planned. Though the objections raised by Transparency International are being defended by the corporation yet the BMRCL faces shortage of engineers too…

Namma Metro – Gathering Speed, all right

Recently, I came across this wide-ranging article on Bangalore, excuse me, I meant Bengaluru in Frontline, the Hindu publication. Titled ‘Gathering Pace’ I feel its one of the best, comprehensive articles that has been written on the (pathetic) state of Bangalore’s infrastructure and what’s being attempted / done on a ground level to solve all / some of them.

Some of the public agencies which the article covers are the BBMP, BDA, BMRC, BMTC, BWSSB etc. Do check out the article for worthwhile reading.

Save those trees…

I had posted a few days ago regarding Janet’s efforts to plant trees and am glad to report that several people have contacted her. On the same lines, I read about this request from Leo F. Saldanha from the Environment Support Group today.

Saldanha writes: “The Deputy Conservator of Forests (Tree Officer) Bruhat Blore Mahanagara Palike has called for a meeting that will decide the “removal” of trees for the Metro project and “developmental activities in BBMP area”. In some ways it is a small victory of sorts, as this meeting is called despite the BBMP having issued orders to fell trees in Sheshadri Road, Palace Road, etc. A joint inspection by the Engineering Staff of BBMP (Road Widening division) and Tree Officer of BBMP along with ESG and CIVIC representatives, has probably resulted in this new thinking to consult the wide public.

There is something very important to notice in the letter however: the description includes almost every tree in public and private lands in Bangalore city area. We need to have a formal, prepared and effective response to these proposals.

The meeting is scheduled for Friday 24th August 2007, and it is a very important forum for us to utilise and
bring some rationale and sense into the ongoing tree felling efforts (contrast this with the tree growing efforts of the government of the 1980s!).”

Kathyayini Chamaraj of CIVIC writes: “Only a huge number of protestors, who are willing to spare the time and come to BBMP office for the Friday, August 24th meeting, at 11.30 am can save the trees in central Bangalore. Please come in full numbers otherwise the core of Bangalore will become a desert. Looking forward to your active participation.”


To register your protest and take part, please attend the meeting on 24th August at 1130 am at the BBMP office (meeting hall no 1). And do pass the news around. As Chamaraj points out, at the rate at which our trees are being felled, it won’t be long before Bangalore becomes a desert.

Worth its wait in gold?

One could say that Namma Metro (click here for blog )- Bangalore’s metro rail network – is well and truly on its way.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation began road works from Cauvery Emporium to Trinity Circle on M G Road on Saturday morning. This part of the road was barricaded, leaving little space for movement of vehicles, resulting in traffic jam on Brigade Road and Commercial Street.

( From a Deccan Herald report from here )

As a result & as can be seen, a lot of inconvenience is on the cards over the next 2 years that the project is completed. Barricading, traffic jams, one-ways, parking – all of these will take a toll on the patience of road users. A lot of noise, literally and figuratively, will be created in the media by affected citizens, road users et al. Environmentalists will continue their tirade. Senior citizens will rant against the changing skyline. Busybodies will pass snide remarks on the integrity of those involved in the project. In all this chaos, lets remember that the end result – a spanking new, state of the art Metro that does more good than most people can currently envision will finally be a reality.

A preview of what we can expect

As I keep saying (sometimes, shouting from the rooftop!) I’m one of the biggest fans of Namma Metro. When complete – hopefully, without too many delays – Namma Metro is going to make a huge impact in our lives as citizens and commuters. And from what we’ve seen in terms of one aspect, the design of the stations, its clear that the BMRC is taking ‘world-class’ seriously.

Travelling in the Singapore Metro & Malaysian LRT last week, I’m more than enthused that this mass rapid transit system can give our citizens a paradigm shift in commuting within the city – safely, conveniently and cosily!

Here are some pics, for your viewing pleasure.

Successful transplantation / translocation

I didn’t believe this news report at first so I decided to see for myself.

The initiative of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to translocate adult trees for road widening and construction of Metro, seems to have yielded good results.

To all cynics out there who scoffed at the efforts of the BMRC and BBMP in translocating trees chopped from MG Road boulevard to Manekshaw Parade Grounds, here’s proof of its success. You can see new leaves sprouting from several branches.

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