Say no to road widening in Bangalore

Created on: Mon, July 5, 2010 Last Update: Wed, March 9, 2011 @ 05:35 hrs IST
http://www.petitiononline.com/roadwide/ (condensed, unfeatured & text only version with 372 signatures as on Mon, March 7, 2011)
Say No to Bangalore road widening Online
DNA: Bangalore - Bangalore road widening rage goes online - Aparajita Ray - Wednesday, August 11, 2010
BBMP's road widening project will displace over 2 lakh people in the city
http://praja.in/files/road%20widening%20BSS_0.pdf 
Photo: http://www.commonfloor.com/stories/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/011021.jpg
40,000 properties in Bangalore are likely to be demolished to widen 227 roads by displacing 38,000 to 2 lakh people for private vehicles. Pedestrians have no footpaths to walk. Road widenings must be stopped. Homes, properties and livelihoods of the citizens must be saved. Roads should be accessible for all sections of society.

Petitioners' Inference:
This is a classic case of JNNURM triggered / hastened collapse of urbania in Bangalore / Karnataka / India. As the deadline for the utilization of JNNURM funds comes closer and closer more and more such unwanted, wasteful and anti-people projects will unfortunately be executed mercilessly / ruthlessly and frenziedly in a tearing hurry by the politician, bureaucrat and contractor nexus wherever JNNURM funded projects are being executed / undertaken in each and every city / town all over India as in Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore so that not even a single Rupee remains unutilized.

Questions:
http://praja.in/files/road%20widening%20BSS_0.pdf 

01. No doubt, traffic congestion is the bane of Bangalore city and urgent remedial measures are required. But is widening of roads, the most optimal measure? Which roads are most appropriate for widening and how is it decided? Are there other alternative options that do not warrant displacement? Has BBMP conducted any scientific study on these matters?

02. It is common knowledge that BMTC - the notorious public transport service - is the principal cause behind the ever-increasing number of vehicles on the city's roads that has crossed 32 lakhs. BMTC and the government should provide convenient, reliable and affordable transport service with sufficient number of buses covering all parts of the city. The number of ordinary buses has not kept pace with the growing population at all; but, air-conditioned 'Volvo' buses - that charge 4-5 times more than the regular fare and run empty during non-peak hours - are seen more and more on city's roads! Is it enough to declare a 'Bus Day' for cheap publicity? If public transport service is improved, it naturally results in lesser vehicle density. What measures are taken to meeting this growing demand?

03. Work has already begun on Metro rail project. Metro has promised a carrying capacity of 12.22 lakhs in 2011 (and 19.72 lakhs in 2021). If this snail-paced work is completed on schedule and rapid, reliable, inexpensive service is guaranteed, it is very likely that the number of private vehicles on the roads comes down. And, there are talks of Mono rail/LRT, BRT systems that promise to connect areas as far as Outer Peripheral Ring Road and act as feeder to Metro. Has BBMP considered all these aspects while deciding to widen the roads?

04. Has BBMP conducted an impact study on environment, green canopy cover and livelihood of the displaced people? What efforts are made to interact with concerned and affected citizens upfront and resolve the - questions and anxieties? Is it too much to expect that a project meant for 'public interest' be preceded by a 'public interaction'? How can a responsible elected civic agency like BBMP simply issue notices to people to vacate themselves or get vacated forcibly, that too, at their own cost? Is it democracy or autocracy?

05. Those stripped of their land or building, get neither money nor alternate site - traditional forms of compensation in such large infra projects. Instead, they get TDRs (Transferrable Development Rights). But the havoc wrecked by TDRs in Mumbai is well-known today. Private developers amassed TDRs under projects meant to rehabilitate slum dwellers in Mumbai. They used these TDRs (called 'Slum TDRs') to expand their property in prime areas like Bandra, Chembur, Khar, Santa Cruz that has led to haphazard and unrestrained development. This has resulted in poor quality construction, drinking water crisis, endless traffic snarls, packed roads and so on. What if this happens to Bangalore leading to a bigger infrastructure crisis than solving perhaps, a smaller one? TDR rates - similar to stock quotes - are market driven and private developers who can be influential manipulators are eyeing TDRs. So, if the TDR rates are down, the retail owners who surrender their land for TDRs could be the ultimate losers!

06. If you question the rationale behind TDRs, BBMP dodges it with an excuse: 'What to do? Our coffers are empty'! But why are they short of funds when they have an assured revenue worth thousands of crores? They collect property tax; they have JNNURM aid; Chief Minister (CM) Yeddyurappa has announced a fabulous grant of Rs.18,872 crores (driven largely by loans) in the last state budget meant for Bangalore infrastructure development in the next 3 years that includes roads and transport. In 2009-10, in terms of property tax, Chennai Corporation collected Rs.500 crore, Delhi Corporation collected Rs. 700 crores but BBMP collected Rs.750 crores! What has BBMP done to arrest corruption and massive pilferage of public funds?

07. Even if people take recourse to legal action to get these glaring policy anomalies addressed, the courts are washing their hands off with a standard disclaimer that these infra projects are in 'larger public interest'. But, what is the prime mover of these projects? Public interest or the interest of politician-developer-bureaucrat nexus? Otherwise, why there is a pall of secrecy? Why the requests for information under RTI Act typically evoke no response from the Palike?

08. The politician-builder-bureaucrat evil nexus is garnering a large share of funds in the infrastructure corpus. Who will repay all the money borrowed from various sources including World Bank for the so-called development? Us or them?

09. Will this road widening scheme end with the current scope? Once this process - so obviously meant for the benefit of builders, mall owners and politicians - starts, will it not engulf the whole city like a wild fire?

10. Significantly, there are experts who have questioned this method of addressing traffic problem by widening roads. "Widening roads to ease traffic congestion is ineffective and expensive at the same time, it's like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." says Roy Kienitz, Executive Director of Washington - based Surface Transport Policy Project (STPP). An analysis of the respected Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) shows that the capacity improvement plans like widening of roads has had virtually no impact on traffic congestion in major US urban areas in the last 15 years.

Has BBMP considered these expert opinions?

We the petition signers / signatories appeal to those concerned to accept our following demands
:

Demands:
http://praja.in/files/road%20widening%20BSS_0.pdf 

01. Ensure that people's interest and NOT the interest of politician-bureaucrat-builder nexus is the focal point in all infrastructure development works including road widening.

02. Stop all road widening activities immediately and appoint a quasi-judicial body to oversee all matters related to infrastructure development.

03. Consider the reduction in traffic density due to Metro/Mono/LRT/BRT projects while deciding on road widening. Ensure on-time completion of these ongoing projects. Ensure reliable, affordable and rapid rail transit service.

04. Improve BMTC-managed public road transport service. Ensure sufficient number of buses connecting all parts of the city. Ensure optimal frequency. Ensure it is affordable to low income groups.

05. Scrap TDRs immediately.

06. Any road widening should be taken ONLY after:
clearance from the quasi judicial body
taking concerned citizens and forums into confidence
adequate compensation over and above market price and rehabilitation before any acquisition of property
protecting the interest of displaced tenants

07. Stop awarding projects to private contractors and builders. Government and civic agencies should take up all infrastructure development activities.

08. Ensure ecological balance, ensure that overall green cover is replenished and enriched by replanting even if felling of trees is warranted as the last resort.

09. Take immediate measures to arrest corruption in BBMP, BDA, BMRDA and other civic agencies and ensure stringent punishment to guilty.

10. Take measures to prevent vertical growth in the central parts of the city.

11. Make all information on planned on on-going infrastructure development projects freely available; provide all required information for queries under RTI Act.

12. Protect heritage sites, take stringent measures to prohibit any construction in and around such sites.

13. Enforce mandatory parking space in large multi-storey commercial, industrial or residential buildings.

Halting a madness Deccan Herald - DH Edit / Editorial - Saturday, July 3, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/78896/halting-madness.html 
Road widen-ing is not the only solution for B'lore

For the past couple of months, loud protests have been heard from several parts of the City ever since the corporation officials unveiled their plan to widen 216 roads, affecting nearly 40,000 properties, in part or in full. Chamarajpet, the oldest extension of the City designed in 1892, observed a bundh recently as the corporation's demolition squad was getting ready to pull down the buildings for road widening. The mindlessness of the operation was evident from the fact that, ironically, Chamarajpet has some of the widest roads and the vehicular traffic is generally so smooth that it hardly merited such a drastic action. The same is the case with many other roads in other localities, irrationally earmarked for the widening exercise.

What was most galling about the whole exercise was that the corporation did not bother to hold citizens' meetings or obtain the consent of property owners before embarking on its plan. Bangalore has a unique culture of small businesses operating in residential localities for decades and lakhs of livelihoods are dependent on them. Now, to suddenly evict them arbitrarily without alternatives or adequate compensation, would have been inhuman and against all canons of justice. As financial compensation as per current market rates would have been impossible to meet, the corporation came up with the 'TDR model,' which allows the property owners to put up additional construction elsewhere. The officials did not bother to find out whether such owners had the means or inclination to take up the offer. It was as bizarre as it could get.The traffic congestion is definitely a serious problem in Bangalore, but widening the roads is not the only solution. Increasing the use of public transport, encouraging the construction of parking lots for vehicles at convenient points, ensuring that every large commercial building has adequate parking, halting the movement of heavy vehicles during peak hours, denying the registration of vehicles for those who already own a certain number of vehicles are some of the measures that should be considered.

Save our homes, properties, cry citizens Times of India Monday, July 5, 2010
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Save-our-homes-properties-cry-citizens-/articleshow/6129293.cms 
Say Road Widening Is A Racket
Writers, NGOs, resident welfare associations (RWAs), citizens, environmentalists and a never-say-die freedom fighter came together on Sunday, July 4, 2010 to protest the decision to demolish properties for road widening in the city.

Terming it unscientific and irrational, the participants of the convention wanted the government to immediately scrap Transferable Development Rights (TDR).

The meeting, led by Save Bangalore Committee, was attended by hundreds of affected citizens, environmental groups like Hasiru Usiru, NGOs and others.

Freedom fighter
H S Doreswamy, 94, said: 'The country doesn't care for citizens like me. We have no footpaths to walk on. There should be a method in the madness that the government is upto. They should ask for public opinion on road widening. Shame on the government," he said.

Justice M F Saldanha stressed that he had evidence to show that road widening was unnecessary. 'Not a single road needs to be widened. There is zero traffic management in the city. At High Grounds, 94 trees were cut recently. According to an estimate, from every tree, the timber yield is in lakhs but they were auctioned for just Rs 2,000. Road widening is a lucrative business for corrupt purposes. The Metro was supposed to be constructed in five years with a budget of Rs 16,000 crore. Nine years have passed with only 11% of the work done, at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore," he said.

Writer U R Ananthamurthy stressed "If roads are widened, they will be for the cars and big vehicles. Citizens will prefer to remain at home and watch TV."

Former environment secretary A N Yellappa Reddy raised health concerns due to the increasing vehicle population. 'At least 40% of children below 12 years are contracting various diseases due to the polluted environment in Bangalore. Ground level ozone, one of the deadliest pollutants, is also prevalent in the atmosphere. Migraine, which was otherwise common among the middle-aged, is now affecting children. Let the government concentrate on these issues. All encroached land identified by the AT Ramaswamy Committee should be converted into open parks or lung spaces," he said.

PROJECT HOMELESS
In the city, 220 roads have been identified for road-widening. It will lead to the demolition of around 40,000 properties and is likely to displace around 2 lakh people. Affected residents will get TDRs, which means you get 1.5 times more built-up area than what you surrender for the project. But if you are a tenant, you don't get compensated.

WHAT NEXT?
A resolution with the demands of Save Bangalore Committee will be sent to the chief minister.
60 RWAs participated and formed a committee with two members from each affected RWA

DEMANDS
Put a hold on all ill-considered projects. Form a quasi-judicial body to frame and supervise pro-people projects
Improve BMTC services so that fewer private vehicles ply, and reduce congestion

Road-widening for whose benefit? - Deccan Herald - Friday, July 2, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/78659/road-widening-whose-benefit.html 
A minister recently stated that road-widening is in 'public interest'. One would like to know how this 'public interest' has been defined and determined

Public interest?
A minister recently stated that road-widening is in 'public interest'. One would like to know how this 'public interest' has been defined and determined.

To accommodate the speedsters
, the trees have to be cut and all the others have to abandon their earnings, shops and homes and make way for road-widening. The shop or home-owners may leave clutching pieces of paper called DRCs (Development Rights Certificates) but the rest go empty-handed.

Officials are conveying the impression that TDRs are the only choice. But this is not true as accepting TDRs is voluntary and persons not opting for it have to be compensated as per the Land Acquisition Act. Slum-dwellers living for decades on certain roads are also being forcibly evicted without rehabilitation to widen roads. Forced eviction without prior informed consent and fair compensation is against the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which India has ratified.

That authorities have not made the Karnataka Rehabilitation Act of 1987 or the National R&R Policy of 2007 applicable to this project, though it is going to displace lakhs of people, shows their indifference to human rights and national and international commitments. But if BBMP gets a World Bank loan for its road projects as contemplated, it will have to mandatorily implement the World Bank's Operational Directive (OD) 4.30 on Involuntary Resettlement which requires full compensation for those relocated, making TDRs, which do not reflect true market values, wholly inadequate.

The government seems to believe that the desire of the rich for the luxury of driving their private vehicles is
'public interest' and that this should override the fundamental rights of lakhs of others to their livelihood, security of tenure and hard-earned property. The recent widening of Bellary, Seshadri and Palace Roads, without cycle tracks and lanes for buses as required under the National Urban Transport Policy, proves that only the private purpose of private vehicle owners is being served and not the public interest. If the true cost of R&R is figured in, the costs of road-widening far outweigh the benefits, if any.

Meeting urges people to stand united against road widening The Hindu, Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/05/stories/2010070559450300.htm 
Residents raise their voice against 'irrational road widening plans'
Aggrieved residents from across the city met here on Sunday, July 4, 2010 to raise their voices against what they said Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) "irrational road widening plans". They participated in a convention on road widening and Transfer of Development Rights organised by the Save Bangalore Committee.

The guests, who addressed the gathering, had one common refrain - stand united to oppose the "irrational, unilateral, unscientific and anti-people move to widen 220 roads" in the city.

Writer U.R. Ananthamurthy stressed on the need to make roads accessible for all sections of society, he urged people to "instil fear" in the elected representatives. "If they are 'scared' of the electorate, they will listen to us. That is the only thing that will push them to drop the 'unscientific road widening plans'," he said.

M.F. Saldanha, former High Court judge, who was the chief guest, said, "We must make the Yeddyurappa Government and BBMP realise that Bangalore does not belong to them, and they have no right to destroy it. I know from my experience that not a single road in the city needs to be widened."

He also said that with proper traffic management, the stress on the city roads can be reduced.

He alleged that a contractor-mafia was responsible for the
"indiscriminate felling of trees and unscientific road widening". "Irrespective of the timber yield, each tree is being auctioned for no less than Rs. 2,000. We must fight these corrupt practices and arrive at alternative solutions for road widening," he added.

L.V. Srirangaraju, retired chief engineer of erstwhile Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, said that Bangalore is not a planned city, but a conglomerate of villages. "We need scientific solutions, given the nature and culture of the city. Citizens are affected by bad engineering," he said.

He urged citizens to take a proactive role in the local administration. He said that planning and execution of projects were a failure in the city. "If at all there is an award for bad engineering, the Cauvery underpass will win it hands down. The underpass near Le Meridien Hotel is another example of waste of tax payers' money," he said.

H.S. Doreswamy, freedom fighter, who presided over the convention, said that the citizens only had to blame themselves for the sorry state of affairs.

"We have become mute spectators. The authorities do not believe in consulting the people or technical experts. We must show them now that our voices will continue to rise if they do not listen to us," he said. Actor H.G. Somashekhara Rao, environmentalist Yellappa Reddy, urban planner and architect George K. Kuruvilla, general secretary of All India Mahila Samskrutik Sanghatan H.G. Jayalakshmi and convenor of Save Bangalore Committee B.R. Manjunath spoke.

Road widening termed impractical The Hindu, Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/05/stories/2010070559460300.htm 
All those who attended a convention at the NGO Hall here on Sunday agreed on one thing - road widening was a short-sighted and impractical solution. The convention on road widening was organised by the Save Bangalore Committee.

Suresh Muna, a resident, said that instead of widening roads across the city and displacing people, the Government could explore options to reduce the vehicle load by controlling vehicle registrations.

"Every day, vehicles are registered and added to the crowded roads. The Government must bring in a system to control the number of vehicle registrations," he said.

Srinivas Kale spoke about the helplessness of the citizens.

Imtiaz Ahmed from the CMH Road Traders' Association claimed that with the on-going Metro work, business was affected.

"When the Metro work is still on, the authorities have decided to widen the roads. The livelihood of 1,500 shop owners and traders is at stake," he said.

Residents of over 60 roads identified for widening from 75 different localities attended the convention.

They came together to form the Road Widening Resistance Committee, in which two representatives from each roads will be members.

Opposition to widening of roads in City picks up Deccan Herald Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/79375/opposition-widening-roads-city-picks.html 
'Senseless, heinous, devastating, inhuman and unscientific'
Thousands of property owners and businessmen who will be affected by the project taken up by Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to widen 220 roads in different parts of the City, received support on Sunday, July 4, 2010 from eminent persons from different walks of life who took strong exception to the BBMP project.

Participating in the citizens' convention organised by Save Bangalore Committee and NGO Bhavan in Cubbon Park, their terms of description of the project included "senseless, heinous, devastating, inhuman, unscientific and a conspiracy to make monetary profit by politicians, contractors and bureaucrats." They criticised BBMP for not consulting experts and those affected before implementing the widening of roads.

They urged the government to halt the project immediately and called upon Bangaloreans for a united struggle till the project is withdrawn.

Justice M F Saldanha said some vested interests are supporting the project as they will get timber which is most valuable after trees are chopped off. "The project is very lucrative for contractors. It's a big mafia. The project is taken up only for private and corrupt purpose."

More than 12,000 illegal commercial structures came up in the City during the last five years (2005-2010)
. These spaces were mainly parking lots before the structures came up. The structures are causing congestion on roads as vehicles are parked on roadside. Such structures should be demolished to decongest roads instead of widening the roads, he said.

"They are ruining the City. Bangalore doesn't belong to the chief minister or mayor or the BDA chairman. It belongs to people. Those in power are in a deep slumber and citizens should make efforts to wake them up by protesting," said freedom fighter H S Doreswamy.

Jnanpith awardee U R Ananthamurthy stressed the need for creating peoples' fear factor among politicians. The government will give up such anti-people projects only when those in power are afraid of people. What is important is not fast driving by youngsters on roads, but facilities to cross roads safely by elderly persons, he said.

Environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy said the government lacked reason and logic regarding the project. Theatre personality H S Somashekhar alleged the government failed to take experts' opinions and to consult those to be affected due to the project.

Retired senior chief engineer of BBMP Srirangaraju termed the project as a "great fraud" played on the public. The project is being implemented without understanding the City's geography and history, he said.

Urban planner George K Kuruvilla pointed out the project will only encourage more vehicles to ply on roads and will not serve any purpose.

Citizens' convention draws good response Deccan Herald Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/79371/citizens-convention-draws-good-response.html 
The citizens convention organised by Save Bangalore Committee received overwhelming response as people from different walks of life and office-bearers of various organisations attended it. The convention hall was jam packed with audience including a few foreign nationals.

BBMP retired chief engineer Srirangaraju said: "The underpass at Cauvery Junction is the most unscientific engineering structure in the world. If there is any award for the worst engineering structure, then it should go to the Cauvery underpass."

"The BBMP constructed a small underpass at Sanjaynagar. They realised it was extremely difficult for cars to pass on. They constructed another underpass adjacent to the first one. This shows how unscientific the Palike's planning is," he alleged.

Theatre personality H G Somashekhar Rao said: "We should thank the project. They are just demolishing some buildings. We should be relieved as they do not demolish the City itself to build new roads. If trees are chopped off like this, Bangaloreans will have to buy oxygen like mineral water in another 10 years."

Justice MF Saldanha said: "The biggest problem is the City traffic police follow highly unscientific methods while deciding on one ways. They are mainly responsible for congestion on roads."

Resolution against BBMP move Deccan Herald Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/79369/resolution-against-bbmp-move.html 
Terming the ongoing road widening project, taken up by the Palike as 'senseless', Save Bangalore Committee, on Sunday, July 4, 2010 at its convention, adopted a resolution to strongly oppose the project and demanded the State government to stop it immediately.

The Save Bangalore Committe (SBC), which is spearheading peoples movement against the project, in its resolution, termed the project as devastating, inhuman and illegal and declared Bangalore belongs to citizens and not to politicians, contractors and bureaucrats.

It's an urban displacement project
as it will affect more than 38,000 persons owning different properties.

Resolution
Road widening cannot only be a solution to growing traffic woes. The project aims to protect interests of politicians, contractors and bureaucrats, the resolution stated.

The resolution took strong exception of resorting to road widening much before metro rail project and mono rail project are completed and termed Transferable Development Rights as heinous.

The resolution welcomed the decision to form an anti-senseless road widening project committee comprising citizens, organisations, unions and federations of all sorts to take the ongoing fight to a logical end.

The resolution called upon citizens and associations to intensify the protest, stage continuous rallies, conduct public meetings, block roads and picket Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike offices.

Affected residents to hold satyagraha Deccan Herald Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/79370/affected-residents-hold-satyagraha.html
People who are likely to lose properties due to Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's road widening project would go Gandhi way. They have decided to hold satyagraha against the Palike's plan.

During the public interaction at the NGO Hall in Cubbon Park on Sunday, July 4, 2010 people unanimously decided to intensify the movement against the widening of 227 roads and bring all the affected people under one umbrella.

One of the affected parties asked Justice M F Saldanha about his opinion on launching satyagraha. To this Justice Saldanha said he is happy that such ideas are emerging and demanded that the BBMP should scrap all the road widening project as it is atrocious.

Justice said that common man has become helpless as such projects are executed using muscle powers.

"What can a common man do if someone comes with the heavy excavating machine. Due to the Metro Rail project 350 people committed suicide in New Delhi. The government has become anti-people", he said.

He said that all the 28 public interest litigations that were filed in the High Court against the project were rejected. He opined that courts too have a duty to uphold people's right.

"We expect justice from the courts for the masses. Courts should also understand people's miseries," he said. He viewed that road widening projects undertaken by the BBMP as an absolute atrocity and flayed the TDR system saying that it has failed in Mumbai.

C'pet traders say no to road widening Deccan Herald Sunday, June 19, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/76413/cpet-traders-say-no-road.html 
The day-long protest by traders in Bajaj Street of Chamarjapet against proposed road widening project evoked good response on Saturday, June 18, 2010.

Normal life was affected as shops and commercial establishments had downed shutters. The BBMP proposed to widen the roads at fifth main, third cross and ninth cross in Chamarajpet. The streets wore a deserted look and people who bought essential things in their next door had to rush to the other parts of the city.

A large number of traders and local residents participated in the protest that was held under the banner of Chamarajpet Varthakara-Malikara Hitarakshana Samithi.

President of the Samithi M Sathish Bhonsle said there was no  need for such projects in Chamarajpet as the roads were already wide enough. The problem has been created by the increasing number of vehicles in the City, Bhonsle said. He added that the project would derail the  livelihood of traders besides resulting in chopping off many trees.

The vice president of the organisation Vadiraja Sundar Rao alleged that the road widening project was unwarranted and intended to serve those who want to make some fast bucks at the cost of the livelihood of thousands of traders and their families.

The protest passed off peacefully. A posse of policemen were deployed to pre-empt any law and order problem. The agitators said they have faith in peace but if the BBMP goes with its road widening project at Chamarajpet, they would intensify their protest.

BBMP plans to widen to increase present width of 80 feet to 100 feet, 10 feet on either side of the road. The residents however, feel, once Metro/Mono rail becomes functional in the City, these lanes and bylanes of Chamarajpet were bound to have smooth flow of traffic, up to Mysore Road.

Chamarajpet traders firm on not allowing road widening Deccan Herald Tuesday, June 22, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/76795/chamarajpet-traders-firm-not-allowing.html 
Up in arms over the proposed Chamarajpet road widening, traders and shopkeepers, in one of the oldest parts of Bangalore, have taken a firm stance over not letting the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to go ahead with the project.

Reason: Debts, loans and loss of jobs that plague the traders who have managed to setup their business in Chamarajpet.

The call for bundh on Saturday, June 19, 2010 showed BBMP the resolve of the people against the road widening project. Traders and shopkeepers who are living under a constant threat of losing their livelihood were found in large numbers across Chamarajpet.

"With the talk of the road widening process, 10 feet of my shop will be occupied. With loans to be repaid I will be in deep trouble if this happens," says Gopi, who owns a stationary shop on the same stretch.

Tense situation
A lot of anxious people await the Government's next move, hoping there will be some reprieve from the tense situation that exists in Chamarajpet. "Our business has been located here since my ancestral days, but with this proposed project my business will be in tatters. It is going to affect me and my family very badly. This is my home and I have nowhere to go," said Jagannath, a helpless textile shop owner.

Ask Gopal Krishna, owner of Archies Gallery about the road widening project and he vociferously objects to it. "There are around 1,500 shops and about 500 houses in Chamarajpet, each shop has seven to eight workers, if the shops are demolished for about 12 feet then these people will be rendered jobless. The BBMP has provided only four feet to construct a three storied building, which is impossible," he said.

However, with the BBMP bent upon widening this road, traders are at loss of words over the logic behind this exercise. The locals are not able to comprehend the reasons behind the road widening project.

Suggestions like withdrawing of parking facilities in the area were voiced by the shop owners.

"It is only due to the ongoing Metro work near K R market that traffic jams are a regular occurrence on this stretch. Once that is completed there will not be much traffic on these roads," says Rajesh, another shopkeeper.

Your house can't be taken forcibly under TDR - Times of India Sunday, July 11, 2010
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Your-house-cant-be-taken-forcibly-under-TDR/articleshow/6153241.cms 
There is much anguish and hand wringing in the city about people losing valuable parts of their cherished homes to road-widening. The most vocal of the affected 40,000 have been lambasting the BBMP's move meant to smoothen the flow of traffic in a very congested city.

They can all breathe easy. No acquisition can be done without the owner's consent, according to the current law, under transferable development rights (TDR). Simply put, if a person doesn't want to give his/her property for road-widening, then he/she need not.

Right to Information (RTI) documents in possession with TOI have thrown up the surprising and hitherto well-hidden clause which states that properties can be acquired for road-widening only under TDR. The catch - which favours the home owners - comes in the next clause; TDR can be enforced only if the owner is willing. If he isn't willing, the only option open to BBMP is to forcibly acquire the property by paying current market rates under the Karnataka Land Acquisition Act. A process that is very expensive, tedious and time-consuming and as such not a route preferred by BBMP to acquire land for road-widening.

H Siddaiah, the newly appointed BBMP commissioner, admitted as much: "We cannot forcibly take land under TDR for road-widening. In case people refuse to give land for TDRs, then we have the option to acquire land only under the Karnataka Land Acquisition Act. But for this, there are many procedures involved - wherein we first have to issue notices to the property owners. We have to give them three months time to file objections. Then compensation will have to be paid to the property owners. The quantum of compensation again varies from area to area depending on the real estate value of the land."

For the record, BBMP has already identified over 37,000 properties across the city of which 4,436 properties are in Central Business District. Realising that under TDR they cannot forcibly knock down properties, BBMP had readied plan B - to forcibly take away land for road-widening. But that might come to naught."If the BBMP has to compensate all the affected property owners, the Palike will incur Rs 10,000 crore expenditure which is virtually unaffordable for a corporation already reeling under financial crunch," sources told TOI.

Bangalore road widening will displace 3 lakh Deccan Herald Monday, July 12, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/80790/bangalore-road-widening-displace-3.html 
The widening of 270 roads in the City would lead to the displacement of about three lakh people, the biggest urban displacement ever in Independent India, Manjunath of Save Bangalore, an organisation fighting road widening, said here on Saturday, July 10, 2010.

The BBMP plans to widen the existing 40-feet Mount Joy Road to 100 feet in order to do away with the traffic bottleneck. An underpass is part of theplan. But the road widening work on this stretch is likely to displace at least 700 to 800 families who are holding protest meetings.

Manjunath said Save Bangalore is working to bring the affected people on a single platform and fight against any move to displace people. He said money and muscle power have started dominating the City killing its cultural identity. He asked people to unite and resist against any project. He told people that no political parties would help them and they have to take to streets against any attempt to acquire their properties for road widening.

He said the roads are proposed to be widened because of vehicle parking on the roads. Had the commercial establishments used basements for parking of vehicles, there was no need for widening roads.

A resolution was passed that no one would give properties under TDR
and people would resist any road widening project across Bangalore.

Road widening may affect Whitefield church, club The Hindu Monday, July 12, 2010
http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/12/stories/2010071258540300.htm 
Only part of the premises will be used for widening: BBMP
A view of the inside of the church in Whitefield, Bangalore.

Historians and old Bangaloreans are appalled that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has unilaterally decided to widen the Whitefield Main Road (between Hope Farm and Varthur).

Residents have raised their voice against the indiscriminate widening project that will affect a part of the premises of the historical Whitefield Memorial Church and Whitefield Club.

Sydney Smith, a long-time resident of the area, said that the BBMP issued notices to the church and club in May 2010 and has also made marking on the walls. "According to the marking, the road will be widened by 22.5 metres. If that is true, then the most important part of the church - the altar- will have to be razed," she said.

She also said that the rear wall, including the sacred wooden panel at the back which was set up with church funds after World War I, will have to be demolished.

The non-denominational church was constructed with funds raised by the Anglo-Indian community in 1886.

According to heritage conservation consultant Krupa Rajangam, even to this day, the non-denominational character is being maintained well as the services of both Church of South India and The Anglican Church of India are conducted there. "The church is important for the history of the unique Anglo-Indian settlement which was developed in 1882 by D.S. White. The circular layout of the settlement was an experiment in town planning," the consultant said.

V.N. Rajashekar of the Save Bangalore Committee said that it was disheartening to note that the civic authority had no intention of protecting heritage structures.

TDR here to stay, but we'll better it: Katta Times of India July 12, 2010
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/TDR-here-to-stay-but-well-better-it-Katta/articleshow/6156894.cms 
Despite rising opposition from citizens against its plans for road widening, the government is still steadfast about its agenda. It's now mulling over other possible avenues to make its Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) scheme 'bigger' and 'better' to woo all.

Road-widening was never on ABIDe's agenda Times of India July 12, 2010
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Road-widening-was-never-on-ABIDes-agenda/articleshow/6156910.cms 
It has perhaps become a forgotten agenda, but the earliest opposition to road widening had come from the chief minister's own task force - Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure development (ABIDe).

ABIDe, in its blueprint on traffic and transportation, made 15 major recommendations and the same were submitted to the CM in 2009. This including the 12 signal-free corridors. However, none suggested road widening.

According to ABIDe sources, following resistance to TDRs and road widening in some areas, three of its members had also made a representation to the CM even a month ago in June 2010, apprising him about the situation.

"Even during our study for the blueprint, we found that only 14 arterial roads needed improvement. Even this not necessarily through road widening but through junction elimination. Further, we mainly wanted to utilize the available infrastructure to its best capacity," explained Ashwin Mahesh, an ABIDe member.

"Widening roads will only increase traffic. Lack of urban planning and traffic management experts in the BBMP are reasons for such ad hoc and unscientific proposals like road widening," maintained R K Misra, also an ABIDe member.

Conclusion:
Halting a madness Deccan Herald - DH Edit / Editorial - Saturday, July 03, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/78896/halting-madness.html 
Road widen-ing is not the only solution for B'lore
Increasing the use of public transport, encouraging the construction of parking lots for vehicles at convenient points, ensuring that every large commercial building has adequate parking, halting the movement of heavy vehicles during peak hours, denying the registration of vehicles for those who already own a certain number of vehicles are some of the measures that should be considered.

http://www.facebook.com/tanveerindian 
The petition's creator and the petition's signers / signatories appeal to the Hon'ble Supreme Court, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) to treat the Karnataka Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary Town Planning (GoK), BBMP Commissioner, BDA Commissioner, Transport Commissioner (GoK), Union Secretary for the Ministry of Urban Development (GoI), Principal Secretary Urban Development (GoK), Principal Secretary Forests, Environment and Ecology (GoK) and Principal Secretary Transport (GoK) as the respondents to this petition and Bangalore residents (home / shop / flat / apartment owners / tenants) as the victims who are being rendered homeless / shelterless / roofless and are unfortunately being ruthlessly / mercilessly brought on to the roads / streets / footpaths because of unplanned / unscientific development / growth and uncontrolled increase in the registration / population of private vehicles in general and four wheelers / cars in particular.

Say No to Bangalore road widening Online Wednesday, August 11, 2010
http://www.commonfloor.com/stories/say-no-to-bangalore-road-widening-online-506
If you are one of them who want to fight against the road widening project, here is a chance to raise your objection to the BBMP's proposed road-widening project. An online petition has been launched to fight against the road widening project, where the citizens are demanding that all road widening activities be stopped.

An online petition - Say no to road widening in Bangalore - aims to take up the issue with the country's top bureaucrats including the president. The petition is addressed to the president, the Supreme Court, the prime minister, the governor of Karnataka, the chief minister, the commissioner of BBMP, the mayor, the Bangalore Development Authority, corporators, legislators, parliamentarians, chief secretary and ABIDe. More than 40,000 properties in Bangalore are likely to be demolished to widen 227 roads by displacing 38,000 to 2 lakh people for private vehicles.

According to the current law, properties can be acquired for road-widening only under TDR. TDR can be enforced only if the owner is willing. If he isn't willing, the only option open to BBMP is to acquire the property under the Karnataka Land Acquisition Act. But what Bangalore city did was misuse of this tool to take away the fundamental right of a citizen to hold on to his property.

The petition had 105 signatures (on Tuesday, August 10, 2010) and it highlights the misuse of transfer of developmental rights (TDR) and also seeks answers from the government on the issues involved. "We expect justice from the courts for the masses. Courts should also understand people's miseries and uphold their rights," said Justice MF Saldanha, former high court judge.

The petition was created by Syed Tanveeruddin on Monday, July 5, 2010 in PetitionSite a project of http://www.care2.com/ , the largest online network for people who Care2 make a difference. The Petition Site enhances the credibility of online petitions by centralizing signature collection, regulating signature data collection and output, facilitating communication of petitions via fax, email, etc. and by using fraud-reduction technology.

Say no to road widening Online! (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/no-to-road-widening-in-bangalore)

DNA: Bangalore - Bangalore road widening rage goes online - Aparajita Ray - Wednesday, August 11, 2010
http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report_bangalore-road-widening-rage-goes-online_1421805-all 
Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 10:31 IST
By Aparajita Ray | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 10:31 IST - Daily News & Analysis

Here's a chance for those who wish to raise their objection to the BBMP's proposed road-widening project.

An online petition - Say no to road widening in Bangalore - aims to take up the issue with the country's top bureaucrats including the president.

The petition is addressed to the president, the Supreme Court, the prime minister, the governor of Karnataka, the chief minister, the commissioner of BBMP, the mayor, the Bangalore Development Authority, corporators, legislators, parliamentarians, chief secretary and ABIDe.

The petition had 105 signatures till the last checked by DNA on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. It highlights the misuse of transfer of developmental rights (TDR) and also seeks answers from the government on the issues involved.

Prominent citizens have vehemently criticised the road-widening plan.

"TDR is not an instrument to remove the heritage buildings. Moreover, roads marked by the BBMP are not chosen wisely. They should have identified the arterial roads which need widening and chicken neck points which have to be addressed systematically to help smooth traffic flow. What is their aim after widening all 227 roads? Mobility cannot be solved by widening. In fact it gives scope for more vehicles on the roads," said V Ravichandar, civic analyst.

"We expect justice from the courts for the masses. Courts should also understand people's miseries and uphold their rights," said Justice MF Saldanha, former high court judge.

The petition was created by Syed Tanveeruddin on Monday, July 5, 2010.

BBMP's road widening project will displace over 2 lakh people in the city Saturday, July 10, 2010
http://www.mybangalore.com/article/0710/bbmps-road-widening-project-will-displace-over-2-lakh-people-in-the-city-.html 
Meanwhile an online petition has been launched to fight against the road widening project, where the citizens are demanding that all road widening activities be stopped. Also to appoint a quasi-judicial body to oversee all matters related to infrastructure development and to protect the interests of displaced tenants.

Click here to sign the online petition -
Say no to road widening!

Links to other related comprehensive petitions by the same creator (Syed Tanveerudddin) on the unnecessary road widening / widenings and underpasses in Bangalore
01) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/4/say-no-to-sankey-road-widening/
02) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-856-trees-jayamahal-road-bangalore/
03) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/no-to-tagore-circle-underpass/
04) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-pedestrian-infrastructure/ 

Condensed, unfeatured and text only versions of the above related petitions
01) Save 856 trees on Jayamahal Road in Bangalore was created by Syed Tanveeruddin for the environmentally / ecologically conscious and concerned residents / citizens of Bangalore / Bengaluru / Karnataka / India / World and written by Syed Tanveeruddin on Sunday, November 28, 2010 http://www.petitiononline.com/856trees/ 

02) Say no to Tagore Circle underpass in Bangalore was created by Basavanagudi Residents, Bangalore and written by Syed Tanveeruddin on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 http://www.petitiononline.com/underpas/ 

Links to similar or related petitions by others
01) Save Sankey Road and Park created by Save Sankey Road and Park Forum and written by Forum Members http://www.petitiononline.com/sankey 

02) Stop and re-evaluate illegal and irrational ongoing road-widening work in Bangalore was created by and written by Vinay Sreenivasa http://www.petitiononline.com/dntwiden/

Footpaths make all the difference The Hindu Front Page Sunday, November 22, 2009
http://www.hindu.com/2009/11/22/stories/2009112260561800.htm 
Parking is not a constitutional right in any country. It's a private problem that should be solved in private spaces with private money.

Bigger roads and flyovers have never never solved the problem of traffic in any city in the world.

The single biggest difference between the infrastructure of an advanced nation and a backward nation is its footpaths, not its highways.

A bus lane will move 40,000 people per hour. One lane of cars will transport less than 2,000 people.

It is the quality of the footpath that determines the quality of life in a city. In European cities, large areas are roped off for pedestrians and a vibrant street life, while many roads have more space for walkers and cyclists than for car traffic.

In his years as Bogota Mayor, Mr. Penalosa widened footpaths, reduced the number of cars on the roads in peak hours, created a world-class bus rapid transit system (BRTS), reclaimed waterfronts for the public, and - in a move that nearly got him impeached - banned cars from parking on pavements.

We have an extreme scarcity of space - It would be most democratic and efficient to allocate this space in favour of the most people - for buses, cycles and pedestrians.

Apart from considerations of equality is the sheer mathematical impossibility of a city where everyone drives a car regularly.

Created on: Mon, July 5, 2010 Last Update: Wed, March 9, 2011 @ 05:35 hrs IST
http://www.petitiononline.com/roadwide/ (condensed, unfeatured & text only version with 372 signatures as on Mon, March 7, 2011)
Say No to Bangalore road widening Online
DNA: Bangalore - Bangalore road widening rage goes online - Aparajita Ray - Wednesday, August 11, 2010
BBMP's road widening project will displace over 2 lakh people in the city
http://praja.in/files/road%20widening%20BSS_0.pdf 
Photo: http://www.commonfloor.com/stories/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/011021.jpg
40,000 properties in Bangalore are likely to be demolished to widen 227 roads by displacing 38,000 to 2 lakh people for private vehicles. Pedestrians have no footpaths to walk. Road widenings must be stopped. Homes, properties and livelihoods of the citizens must be saved. Roads should be accessible for all sections of society.

Petitioners' Inference:
This is a classic case of JNNURM triggered / hastened collapse of urbania in Bangalore / Karnataka / India. As the deadline for the utilization of JNNURM funds comes closer and closer more and more such unwanted, wasteful and anti-people projects will unfortunately be executed mercilessly / ruthlessly and frenziedly in a tearing hurry by the politician, bureaucrat and contractor nexus wherever JNNURM funded projects are being executed / undertaken in each and every city / town all over India as in Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore so that not even a single Rupee remains unutilized.

Questions:
http://praja.in/files/road%20widening%20BSS_0.pdf 

01. No doubt, traffic congestion is the bane of Bangalore city and urgent remedial measures are required. But is widening of roads, the most optimal measure? Which roads are most appropriate for widening and how is it decided? Are there other alternative options that do not warrant displacement? Has BBMP conducted any scientific study on these matters?

02. It is common knowledge that BMTC - the notorious public transport service - is the principal cause behind the ever-increasing number of vehicles on the city's roads that has crossed 32 lakhs. BMTC and the government should provide convenient, reliable and affordable transport service with sufficient number of buses covering all parts of the city. The number of ordinary buses has not kept pace with the growing population at all; but, air-conditioned 'Volvo' buses - that charge 4-5 times more than the regular fare and run empty during non-peak hours - are seen more and more on city's roads! Is it enough to declare a 'Bus Day' for cheap publicity? If public transport service is improved, it naturally results in lesser vehicle density. What measures are taken to meeting this growing demand?

03. Work has already begun on Metro rail project. Metro has promised a carrying capacity of 12.22 lakhs in 2011 (and 19.72 lakhs in 2021). If this snail-paced work is completed on schedule and rapid, reliable, inexpensive service is guaranteed, it is very likely that the number of private vehicles on the roads comes down. And, there are talks of Mono rail/LRT, BRT systems that promise to connect areas as far as Outer Peripheral Ring Road and act as feeder to Metro. Has BBMP considered all these aspects while deciding to widen the roads?

04. Has BBMP conducted an impact study on environment, green canopy cover and livelihood of the displaced people? What efforts are made to interact with concerned and affected citizens upfront and resolve the - questions and anxieties? Is it too much to expect that a project meant for 'public interest' be preceded by a 'public interaction'? How can a responsible elected civic agency like BBMP simply issue notices to people to vacate themselves or get vacated forcibly, that too, at their own cost? Is it democracy or autocracy?

05. Those stripped of their land or building, get neither money nor alternate site - traditional forms of compensation in such large infra projects. Instead, they get TDRs (Transferrable Development Rights). But the havoc wrecked by TDRs in Mumbai is well-known today. Private developers amassed TDRs under projects meant to rehabilitate slum dwellers in Mumbai. They used these TDRs (called 'Slum TDRs') to expand their property in prime areas like Bandra, Chembur, Khar, Santa Cruz that has led to haphazard and unrestrained development. This has resulted in poor quality construction, drinking water crisis, endless traffic snarls, packed roads and so on. What if this happens to Bangalore leading to a bigger infrastructure crisis than solving perhaps, a smaller one? TDR rates - similar to stock quotes - are market driven and private developers who can be influential manipulators are eyeing TDRs. So, if the TDR rates are down, the retail owners who surrender their land for TDRs could be the ultimate losers!

06. If you question the rationale behind TDRs, BBMP dodges it with an excuse: 'What to do? Our coffers are empty'! But why are they short of funds when they have an assured revenue worth thousands of crores? They collect property tax; they have JNNURM aid; Chief Minister (CM) Yeddyurappa has announced a fabulous grant of Rs.18,872 crores (driven largely by loans) in the last state budget meant for Bangalore infrastructure development in the next 3 years that includes roads and transport. In 2009-10, in terms of property tax, Chennai Corporation collected Rs.500 crore, Delhi Corporation collected Rs. 700 crores but BBMP collected Rs.750 crores! What has BBMP done to arrest corruption and massive pilferage of public funds?

07. Even if people take recourse to legal action to get these glaring policy anomalies addressed, the courts are washing their hands off with a standard disclaimer that these infra projects are in 'larger public interest'. But, what is the prime mover of these projects? Public interest or the interest of politician-developer-bureaucrat nexus? Otherwise, why there is a pall of secrecy? Why the requests for information under RTI Act typically evoke no response from the Palike?

08. The politician-builder-bureaucrat evil nexus is garnering a large share of funds in the infrastructure corpus. Who will repay all the money borrowed from various sources including World Bank for the so-called development? Us or them?

09. Will this road widening scheme end with the current scope? Once this process - so obviously meant for the benefit of builders, mall owners and politicians - starts, will it not engulf the whole city like a wild fire?

10. Significantly, there are experts who have questioned this method of addressing traffic problem by widening roads. "Widening roads to ease traffic congestion is ineffective and expensive at the same time, it's like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." says Roy Kienitz, Executive Director of Washington - based Surface Transport Policy Project (STPP). An analysis of the respected Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) shows that the capacity improvement plans like widening of roads has had virtually no impact on traffic congestion in major US urban areas in the last 15 years.

Has BBMP considered these expert opinions?

We the petition signers / signatories appeal to those concerned to accept our following demands
:

Demands:
http://praja.in/files/road%20widening%20BSS_0.pdf 

01. Ensure that people's interest and NOT the interest of politician-bureaucrat-builder nexus is the focal point in all infrastructure development works including road widening.

02. Stop all road widening activities immediately and appoint a quasi-judicial body to oversee all matters related to infrastructure development.

03. Consider the reduction in traffic density due to Metro/Mono/LRT/BRT projects while deciding on road widening. Ensure on-time completion of these ongoing projects. Ensure reliable, affordable and rapid rail transit service.

04. Improve BMTC-managed public road transport service. Ensure sufficient number of buses connecting all parts of the city. Ensure optimal frequency. Ensure it is affordable to low income groups.

05. Scrap TDRs immediately.

06. Any road widening should be taken ONLY after:
clearance from the quasi judicial body
taking concerned citizens and forums into confidence
adequate compensation over and above market price and rehabilitation before any acquisition of property
protecting the interest of displaced tenants

07. Stop awarding projects to private contractors and builders. Government and civic agencies should take up all infrastructure development activities.

08. Ensure ecological balance, ensure that overall green cover is replenished and enriched by replanting even if felling of trees is warranted as the last resort.

09. Take immediate measures to arrest corruption in BBMP, BDA, BMRDA and other civic agencies and ensure stringent punishment to guilty.

10. Take measures to prevent vertical growth in the central parts of the city.

11. Make all information on planned on on-going infrastructure development projects freely available; provide all required information for queries under RTI Act.

12. Protect heritage sites, take stringent measures to prohibit any construction in and around such sites.

13. Enforce mandatory parking space in large multi-storey commercial, industrial or residential buildings.

Halting a madness Deccan Herald - DH Edit / Editorial - Saturday, July 3, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/78896/halting-madness.html 
Road widen-ing is not the only solution for B'lore

For the past couple of months, loud protests have been heard from several parts of the City ever since the corporation officials unveiled their plan to widen 216 roads, affecting nearly 40,000 properties, in part or in full. Chamarajpet, the oldest extension of the City designed in 1892, observed a bundh recently as the corporation's demolition squad was getting ready to pull down the buildings for road widening. The mindlessness of the operation was evident from the fact that, ironically, Chamarajpet has some of the widest roads and the vehicular traffic is generally so smooth that it hardly merited such a drastic action. The same is the case with many other roads in other localities, irrationally earmarked for the widening exercise.

What was most galling about the whole exercise was that the corporation did not bother to hold citizens' meetings or obtain the consent of property owners before embarking on its plan. Bangalore has a unique culture of small businesses operating in residential localities for decades and lakhs of livelihoods are dependent on them. Now, to suddenly evict them arbitrarily without alternatives or adequate compensation, would have been inhuman and against all canons of justice. As financial compensation as per current market rates would have been impossible to meet, the corporation came up with the 'TDR model,' which allows the property owners to put up additional construction elsewhere. The officials did not bother to find out whether such owners had the means or inclination to take up the offer. It was as bizarre as it could get.The traffic congestion is definitely a serious problem in Bangalore, but widening the roads is not the only solution. Increasing the use of public transport, encouraging the construction of parking lots for vehicles at convenient points, ensuring that every large commercial building has adequate parking, halting the movement of heavy vehicles during peak hours, denying the registration of vehicles for those who already own a certain number of vehicles are some of the measures that should be considered.

Save our homes, properties, cry citizens Times of India Monday, July 5, 2010
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Save-our-homes-properties-cry-citizens-/articleshow/6129293.cms 
Say Road Widening Is A Racket
Writers, NGOs, resident welfare associations (RWAs), citizens, environmentalists and a never-say-die freedom fighter came together on Sunday, July 4, 2010 to protest the decision to demolish properties for road widening in the city.

Terming it unscientific and irrational, the participants of the convention wanted the government to immediately scrap Transferable Development Rights (TDR).

The meeting, led by Save Bangalore Committee, was attended by hundreds of affected citizens, environmental groups like Hasiru Usiru, NGOs and others.

Freedom fighter
H S Doreswamy, 94, said: 'The country doesn't care for citizens like me. We have no footpaths to walk on. There should be a method in the madness that the government is upto. They should ask for public opinion on road widening. Shame on the government," he said.

Justice M F Saldanha stressed that he had evidence to show that road widening was unnecessary. 'Not a single road needs to be widened. There is zero traffic management in the city. At High Grounds, 94 trees were cut recently. According to an estimate, from every tree, the timber yield is in lakhs but they were auctioned for just Rs 2,000. Road widening is a lucrative business for corrupt purposes. The Metro was supposed to be constructed in five years with a budget of Rs 16,000 crore. Nine years have passed with only 11% of the work done, at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore," he said.

Writer U R Ananthamurthy stressed "If roads are widened, they will be for the cars and big vehicles. Citizens will prefer to remain at home and watch TV."

Former environment secretary A N Yellappa Reddy raised health concerns due to the increasing vehicle population. 'At least 40% of children below 12 years are contracting various diseases due to the polluted environment in Bangalore. Ground level ozone, one of the deadliest pollutants, is also prevalent in the atmosphere. Migraine, which was otherwise common among the middle-aged, is now affecting children. Let the government concentrate on these issues. All encroached land identified by the AT Ramaswamy Committee should be converted into open parks or lung spaces," he said.

PROJECT HOMELESS
In the city, 220 roads have been identified for road-widening. It will lead to the demolition of around 40,000 properties and is likely to displace around 2 lakh people. Affected residents will get TDRs, which means you get 1.5 times more built-up area than what you surrender for the project. But if you are a tenant, you don't get compensated.

WHAT NEXT?
A resolution with the demands of Save Bangalore Committee will be sent to the chief minister.
60 RWAs participated and formed a committee with two members from each affected RWA

DEMANDS
Put a hold on all ill-considered projects. Form a quasi-judicial body to frame and supervise pro-people projects
Improve BMTC services so that fewer private vehicles ply, and reduce congestion

Road-widening for whose benefit? - Deccan Herald - Friday, July 2, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/78659/road-widening-whose-benefit.html 
A minister recently stated that road-widening is in 'public interest'. One would like to know how this 'public interest' has been defined and determined

Public interest?
A minister recently stated that road-widening is in 'public interest'. One would like to know how this 'public interest' has been defined and determined.

To accommodate the speedsters
, the trees have to be cut and all the others have to abandon their earnings, shops and homes and make way for road-widening. The shop or home-owners may leave clutching pieces of paper called DRCs (Development Rights Certificates) but the rest go empty-handed.

Officials are conveying the impression that TDRs are the only choice. But this is not true as accepting TDRs is voluntary and persons not opting for it have to be compensated as per the Land Acquisition Act. Slum-dwellers living for decades on certain roads are also being forcibly evicted without rehabilitation to widen roads. Forced eviction without prior informed consent and fair compensation is against the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which India has ratified.

That authorities have not made the Karnataka Rehabilitation Act of 1987 or the National R&R Policy of 2007 applicable to this project, though it is going to displace lakhs of people, shows their indifference to human rights and national and international commitments. But if BBMP gets a World Bank loan for its road projects as contemplated, it will have to mandatorily implement the World Bank's Operational Directive (OD) 4.30 on Involuntary Resettlement which requires full compensation for those relocated, making TDRs, which do not reflect true market values, wholly inadequate.

The government seems to believe that the desire of the rich for the luxury of driving their private vehicles is
'public interest' and that this should override the fundamental rights of lakhs of others to their livelihood, security of tenure and hard-earned property. The recent widening of Bellary, Seshadri and Palace Roads, without cycle tracks and lanes for buses as required under the National Urban Transport Policy, proves that only the private purpose of private vehicle owners is being served and not the public interest. If the true cost of R&R is figured in, the costs of road-widening far outweigh the benefits, if any.

Meeting urges people to stand united against road widening The Hindu, Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/05/stories/2010070559450300.htm 
Residents raise their voice against 'irrational road widening plans'
Aggrieved residents from across the city met here on Sunday, July 4, 2010 to raise their voices against what they said Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) "irrational road widening plans". They participated in a convention on road widening and Transfer of Development Rights organised by the Save Bangalore Committee.

The guests, who addressed the gathering, had one common refrain - stand united to oppose the "irrational, unilateral, unscientific and anti-people move to widen 220 roads" in the city.

Writer U.R. Ananthamurthy stressed on the need to make roads accessible for all sections of society, he urged people to "instil fear" in the elected representatives. "If they are 'scared' of the electorate, they will listen to us. That is the only thing that will push them to drop the 'unscientific road widening plans'," he said.

M.F. Saldanha, former High Court judge, who was the chief guest, said, "We must make the Yeddyurappa Government and BBMP realise that Bangalore does not belong to them, and they have no right to destroy it. I know from my experience that not a single road in the city needs to be widened."

He also said that with proper traffic management, the stress on the city roads can be reduced.

He alleged that a contractor-mafia was responsible for the
"indiscriminate felling of trees and unscientific road widening". "Irrespective of the timber yield, each tree is being auctioned for no less than Rs. 2,000. We must fight these corrupt practices and arrive at alternative solutions for road widening," he added.

L.V. Srirangaraju, retired chief engineer of erstwhile Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, said that Bangalore is not a planned city, but a conglomerate of villages. "We need scientific solutions, given the nature and culture of the city. Citizens are affected by bad engineering," he said.

He urged citizens to take a proactive role in the local administration. He said that planning and execution of projects were a failure in the city. "If at all there is an award for bad engineering, the Cauvery underpass will win it hands down. The underpass near Le Meridien Hotel is another example of waste of tax payers' money," he said.

H.S. Doreswamy, freedom fighter, who presided over the convention, said that the citizens only had to blame themselves for the sorry state of affairs.

"We have become mute spectators. The authorities do not believe in consulting the people or technical experts. We must show them now that our voices will continue to rise if they do not listen to us," he said. Actor H.G. Somashekhara Rao, environmentalist Yellappa Reddy, urban planner and architect George K. Kuruvilla, general secretary of All India Mahila Samskrutik Sanghatan H.G. Jayalakshmi and convenor of Save Bangalore Committee B.R. Manjunath spoke.

Road widening termed impractical The Hindu, Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/05/stories/2010070559460300.htm 
All those who attended a convention at the NGO Hall here on Sunday agreed on one thing - road widening was a short-sighted and impractical solution. The convention on road widening was organised by the Save Bangalore Committee.

Suresh Muna, a resident, said that instead of widening roads across the city and displacing people, the Government could explore options to reduce the vehicle load by controlling vehicle registrations.

"Every day, vehicles are registered and added to the crowded roads. The Government must bring in a system to control the number of vehicle registrations," he said.

Srinivas Kale spoke about the helplessness of the citizens.

Imtiaz Ahmed from the CMH Road Traders' Association claimed that with the on-going Metro work, business was affected.

"When the Metro work is still on, the authorities have decided to widen the roads. The livelihood of 1,500 shop owners and traders is at stake," he said.

Residents of over 60 roads identified for widening from 75 different localities attended the convention.

They came together to form the Road Widening Resistance Committee, in which two representatives from each roads will be members.

Opposition to widening of roads in City picks up Deccan Herald Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/79375/opposition-widening-roads-city-picks.html 
'Senseless, heinous, devastating, inhuman and unscientific'
Thousands of property owners and businessmen who will be affected by the project taken up by Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to widen 220 roads in different parts of the City, received support on Sunday, July 4, 2010 from eminent persons from different walks of life who took strong exception to the BBMP project.

Participating in the citizens' convention organised by Save Bangalore Committee and NGO Bhavan in Cubbon Park, their terms of description of the project included "senseless, heinous, devastating, inhuman, unscientific and a conspiracy to make monetary profit by politicians, contractors and bureaucrats." They criticised BBMP for not consulting experts and those affected before implementing the widening of roads.

They urged the government to halt the project immediately and called upon Bangaloreans for a united struggle till the project is withdrawn.

Justice M F Saldanha said some vested interests are supporting the project as they will get timber which is most valuable after trees are chopped off. "The project is very lucrative for contractors. It's a big mafia. The project is taken up only for private and corrupt purpose."

More than 12,000 illegal commercial structures came up in the City during the last five years (2005-2010)
. These spaces were mainly parking lots before the structures came up. The structures are causing congestion on roads as vehicles are parked on roadside. Such structures should be demolished to decongest roads instead of widening the roads, he said.

"They are ruining the City. Bangalore doesn't belong to the chief minister or mayor or the BDA chairman. It belongs to people. Those in power are in a deep slumber and citizens should make efforts to wake them up by protesting," said freedom fighter H S Doreswamy.

Jnanpith awardee U R Ananthamurthy stressed the need for creating peoples' fear factor among politicians. The government will give up such anti-people projects only when those in power are afraid of people. What is important is not fast driving by youngsters on roads, but facilities to cross roads safely by elderly persons, he said.

Environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy said the government lacked reason and logic regarding the project. Theatre personality H S Somashekhar alleged the government failed to take experts' opinions and to consult those to be affected due to the project.

Retired senior chief engineer of BBMP Srirangaraju termed the project as a "great fraud" played on the public. The project is being implemented without understanding the City's geography and history, he said.

Urban planner George K Kuruvilla pointed out the project will only encourage more vehicles to ply on roads and will not serve any purpose.

Citizens' convention draws good response Deccan Herald Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/79371/citizens-convention-draws-good-response.html 
The citizens convention organised by Save Bangalore Committee received overwhelming response as people from different walks of life and office-bearers of various organisations attended it. The convention hall was jam packed with audience including a few foreign nationals.

BBMP retired chief engineer Srirangaraju said: "The underpass at Cauvery Junction is the most unscientific engineering structure in the world. If there is any award for the worst engineering structure, then it should go to the Cauvery underpass."

"The BBMP constructed a small underpass at Sanjaynagar. They realised it was extremely difficult for cars to pass on. They constructed another underpass adjacent to the first one. This shows how unscientific the Palike's planning is," he alleged.

Theatre personality H G Somashekhar Rao said: "We should thank the project. They are just demolishing some buildings. We should be relieved as they do not demolish the City itself to build new roads. If trees are chopped off like this, Bangaloreans will have to buy oxygen like mineral water in another 10 years."

Justice MF Saldanha said: "The biggest problem is the City traffic police follow highly unscientific methods while deciding on one ways. They are mainly responsible for congestion on roads."

Resolution against BBMP move Deccan Herald Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/79369/resolution-against-bbmp-move.html 
Terming the ongoing road widening project, taken up by the Palike as 'senseless', Save Bangalore Committee, on Sunday, July 4, 2010 at its convention, adopted a resolution to strongly oppose the project and demanded the State government to stop it immediately.

The Save Bangalore Committe (SBC), which is spearheading peoples movement against the project, in its resolution, termed the project as devastating, inhuman and illegal and declared Bangalore belongs to citizens and not to politicians, contractors and bureaucrats.

It's an urban displacement project
as it will affect more than 38,000 persons owning different properties.

Resolution
Road widening cannot only be a solution to growing traffic woes. The project aims to protect interests of politicians, contractors and bureaucrats, the resolution stated.

The resolution took strong exception of resorting to road widening much before metro rail project and mono rail project are completed and termed Transferable Development Rights as heinous.

The resolution welcomed the decision to form an anti-senseless road widening project committee comprising citizens, organisations, unions and federations of all sorts to take the ongoing fight to a logical end.

The resolution called upon citizens and associations to intensify the protest, stage continuous rallies, conduct public meetings, block roads and picket Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike offices.

Affected residents to hold satyagraha Deccan Herald Monday, July 5, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/79370/affected-residents-hold-satyagraha.html
People who are likely to lose properties due to Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's road widening project would go Gandhi way. They have decided to hold satyagraha against the Palike's plan.

During the public interaction at the NGO Hall in Cubbon Park on Sunday, July 4, 2010 people unanimously decided to intensify the movement against the widening of 227 roads and bring all the affected people under one umbrella.

One of the affected parties asked Justice M F Saldanha about his opinion on launching satyagraha. To this Justice Saldanha said he is happy that such ideas are emerging and demanded that the BBMP should scrap all the road widening project as it is atrocious.

Justice said that common man has become helpless as such projects are executed using muscle powers.

"What can a common man do if someone comes with the heavy excavating machine. Due to the Metro Rail project 350 people committed suicide in New Delhi. The government has become anti-people", he said.

He said that all the 28 public interest litigations that were filed in the High Court against the project were rejected. He opined that courts too have a duty to uphold people's right.

"We expect justice from the courts for the masses. Courts should also understand people's miseries," he said. He viewed that road widening projects undertaken by the BBMP as an absolute atrocity and flayed the TDR system saying that it has failed in Mumbai.

C'pet traders say no to road widening Deccan Herald Sunday, June 19, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/76413/cpet-traders-say-no-road.html 
The day-long protest by traders in Bajaj Street of Chamarjapet against proposed road widening project evoked good response on Saturday, June 18, 2010.

Normal life was affected as shops and commercial establishments had downed shutters. The BBMP proposed to widen the roads at fifth main, third cross and ninth cross in Chamarajpet. The streets wore a deserted look and people who bought essential things in their next door had to rush to the other parts of the city.

A large number of traders and local residents participated in the protest that was held under the banner of Chamarajpet Varthakara-Malikara Hitarakshana Samithi.

President of the Samithi M Sathish Bhonsle said there was no  need for such projects in Chamarajpet as the roads were already wide enough. The problem has been created by the increasing number of vehicles in the City, Bhonsle said. He added that the project would derail the  livelihood of traders besides resulting in chopping off many trees.

The vice president of the organisation Vadiraja Sundar Rao alleged that the road widening project was unwarranted and intended to serve those who want to make some fast bucks at the cost of the livelihood of thousands of traders and their families.

The protest passed off peacefully. A posse of policemen were deployed to pre-empt any law and order problem. The agitators said they have faith in peace but if the BBMP goes with its road widening project at Chamarajpet, they would intensify their protest.

BBMP plans to widen to increase present width of 80 feet to 100 feet, 10 feet on either side of the road. The residents however, feel, once Metro/Mono rail becomes functional in the City, these lanes and bylanes of Chamarajpet were bound to have smooth flow of traffic, up to Mysore Road.

Chamarajpet traders firm on not allowing road widening Deccan Herald Tuesday, June 22, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/76795/chamarajpet-traders-firm-not-allowing.html 
Up in arms over the proposed Chamarajpet road widening, traders and shopkeepers, in one of the oldest parts of Bangalore, have taken a firm stance over not letting the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to go ahead with the project.

Reason: Debts, loans and loss of jobs that plague the traders who have managed to setup their business in Chamarajpet.

The call for bundh on Saturday, June 19, 2010 showed BBMP the resolve of the people against the road widening project. Traders and shopkeepers who are living under a constant threat of losing their livelihood were found in large numbers across Chamarajpet.

"With the talk of the road widening process, 10 feet of my shop will be occupied. With loans to be repaid I will be in deep trouble if this happens," says Gopi, who owns a stationary shop on the same stretch.

Tense situation
A lot of anxious people await the Government's next move, hoping there will be some reprieve from the tense situation that exists in Chamarajpet. "Our business has been located here since my ancestral days, but with this proposed project my business will be in tatters. It is going to affect me and my family very badly. This is my home and I have nowhere to go," said Jagannath, a helpless textile shop owner.

Ask Gopal Krishna, owner of Archies Gallery about the road widening project and he vociferously objects to it. "There are around 1,500 shops and about 500 houses in Chamarajpet, each shop has seven to eight workers, if the shops are demolished for about 12 feet then these people will be rendered jobless. The BBMP has provided only four feet to construct a three storied building, which is impossible," he said.

However, with the BBMP bent upon widening this road, traders are at loss of words over the logic behind this exercise. The locals are not able to comprehend the reasons behind the road widening project.

Suggestions like withdrawing of parking facilities in the area were voiced by the shop owners.

"It is only due to the ongoing Metro work near K R market that traffic jams are a regular occurrence on this stretch. Once that is completed there will not be much traffic on these roads," says Rajesh, another shopkeeper.

Your house can't be taken forcibly under TDR - Times of India Sunday, July 11, 2010
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Your-house-cant-be-taken-forcibly-under-TDR/articleshow/6153241.cms 
There is much anguish and hand wringing in the city about people losing valuable parts of their cherished homes to road-widening. The most vocal of the affected 40,000 have been lambasting the BBMP's move meant to smoothen the flow of traffic in a very congested city.

They can all breathe easy. No acquisition can be done without the owner's consent, according to the current law, under transferable development rights (TDR). Simply put, if a person doesn't want to give his/her property for road-widening, then he/she need not.

Right to Information (RTI) documents in possession with TOI have thrown up the surprising and hitherto well-hidden clause which states that properties can be acquired for road-widening only under TDR. The catch - which favours the home owners - comes in the next clause; TDR can be enforced only if the owner is willing. If he isn't willing, the only option open to BBMP is to forcibly acquire the property by paying current market rates under the Karnataka Land Acquisition Act. A process that is very expensive, tedious and time-consuming and as such not a route preferred by BBMP to acquire land for road-widening.

H Siddaiah, the newly appointed BBMP commissioner, admitted as much: "We cannot forcibly take land under TDR for road-widening. In case people refuse to give land for TDRs, then we have the option to acquire land only under the Karnataka Land Acquisition Act. But for this, there are many procedures involved - wherein we first have to issue notices to the property owners. We have to give them three months time to file objections. Then compensation will have to be paid to the property owners. The quantum of compensation again varies from area to area depending on the real estate value of the land."

For the record, BBMP has already identified over 37,000 properties across the city of which 4,436 properties are in Central Business District. Realising that under TDR they cannot forcibly knock down properties, BBMP had readied plan B - to forcibly take away land for road-widening. But that might come to naught."If the BBMP has to compensate all the affected property owners, the Palike will incur Rs 10,000 crore expenditure which is virtually unaffordable for a corporation already reeling under financial crunch," sources told TOI.

Bangalore road widening will displace 3 lakh Deccan Herald Monday, July 12, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/80790/bangalore-road-widening-displace-3.html 
The widening of 270 roads in the City would lead to the displacement of about three lakh people, the biggest urban displacement ever in Independent India, Manjunath of Save Bangalore, an organisation fighting road widening, said here on Saturday, July 10, 2010.

The BBMP plans to widen the existing 40-feet Mount Joy Road to 100 feet in order to do away with the traffic bottleneck. An underpass is part of theplan. But the road widening work on this stretch is likely to displace at least 700 to 800 families who are holding protest meetings.

Manjunath said Save Bangalore is working to bring the affected people on a single platform and fight against any move to displace people. He said money and muscle power have started dominating the City killing its cultural identity. He asked people to unite and resist against any project. He told people that no political parties would help them and they have to take to streets against any attempt to acquire their properties for road widening.

He said the roads are proposed to be widened because of vehicle parking on the roads. Had the commercial establishments used basements for parking of vehicles, there was no need for widening roads.

A resolution was passed that no one would give properties under TDR
and people would resist any road widening project across Bangalore.

Road widening may affect Whitefield church, club The Hindu Monday, July 12, 2010
http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/12/stories/2010071258540300.htm 
Only part of the premises will be used for widening: BBMP
A view of the inside of the church in Whitefield, Bangalore.

Historians and old Bangaloreans are appalled that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has unilaterally decided to widen the Whitefield Main Road (between Hope Farm and Varthur).

Residents have raised their voice against the indiscriminate widening project that will affect a part of the premises of the historical Whitefield Memorial Church and Whitefield Club.

Sydney Smith, a long-time resident of the area, said that the BBMP issued notices to the church and club in May 2010 and has also made marking on the walls. "According to the marking, the road will be widened by 22.5 metres. If that is true, then the most important part of the church - the altar- will have to be razed," she said.

She also said that the rear wall, including the sacred wooden panel at the back which was set up with church funds after World War I, will have to be demolished.

The non-denominational church was constructed with funds raised by the Anglo-Indian community in 1886.

According to heritage conservation consultant Krupa Rajangam, even to this day, the non-denominational character is being maintained well as the services of both Church of South India and The Anglican Church of India are conducted there. "The church is important for the history of the unique Anglo-Indian settlement which was developed in 1882 by D.S. White. The circular layout of the settlement was an experiment in town planning," the consultant said.

V.N. Rajashekar of the Save Bangalore Committee said that it was disheartening to note that the civic authority had no intention of protecting heritage structures.

TDR here to stay, but we'll better it: Katta Times of India July 12, 2010
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/TDR-here-to-stay-but-well-better-it-Katta/articleshow/6156894.cms 
Despite rising opposition from citizens against its plans for road widening, the government is still steadfast about its agenda. It's now mulling over other possible avenues to make its Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) scheme 'bigger' and 'better' to woo all.

Road-widening was never on ABIDe's agenda Times of India July 12, 2010
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Road-widening-was-never-on-ABIDes-agenda/articleshow/6156910.cms 
It has perhaps become a forgotten agenda, but the earliest opposition to road widening had come from the chief minister's own task force - Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure development (ABIDe).

ABIDe, in its blueprint on traffic and transportation, made 15 major recommendations and the same were submitted to the CM in 2009. This including the 12 signal-free corridors. However, none suggested road widening.

According to ABIDe sources, following resistance to TDRs and road widening in some areas, three of its members had also made a representation to the CM even a month ago in June 2010, apprising him about the situation.

"Even during our study for the blueprint, we found that only 14 arterial roads needed improvement. Even this not necessarily through road widening but through junction elimination. Further, we mainly wanted to utilize the available infrastructure to its best capacity," explained Ashwin Mahesh, an ABIDe member.

"Widening roads will only increase traffic. Lack of urban planning and traffic management experts in the BBMP are reasons for such ad hoc and unscientific proposals like road widening," maintained R K Misra, also an ABIDe member.

Conclusion:
Halting a madness Deccan Herald - DH Edit / Editorial - Saturday, July 03, 2010
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/78896/halting-madness.html 
Road widen-ing is not the only solution for B'lore
Increasing the use of public transport, encouraging the construction of parking lots for vehicles at convenient points, ensuring that every large commercial building has adequate parking, halting the movement of heavy vehicles during peak hours, denying the registration of vehicles for those who already own a certain number of vehicles are some of the measures that should be considered.

http://www.facebook.com/tanveerindian 
The petition's creator and the petition's signers / signatories appeal to the Hon'ble Supreme Court, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) to treat the Karnataka Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary Town Planning (GoK), BBMP Commissioner, BDA Commissioner, Transport Commissioner (GoK), Union Secretary for the Ministry of Urban Development (GoI), Principal Secretary Urban Development (GoK), Principal Secretary Forests, Environment and Ecology (GoK) and Principal Secretary Transport (GoK) as the respondents to this petition and Bangalore residents (home / shop / flat / apartment owners / tenants) as the victims who are being rendered homeless / shelterless / roofless and are unfortunately being ruthlessly / mercilessly brought on to the roads / streets / footpaths because of unplanned / unscientific development / growth and uncontrolled increase in the registration / population of private vehicles in general and four wheelers / cars in particular.

Say No to Bangalore road widening Online Wednesday, August 11, 2010
http://www.commonfloor.com/stories/say-no-to-bangalore-road-widening-online-506
If you are one of them who want to fight against the road widening project, here is a chance to raise your objection to the BBMP's proposed road-widening project. An online petition has been launched to fight against the road widening project, where the citizens are demanding that all road widening activities be stopped.

An online petition - Say no to road widening in Bangalore - aims to take up the issue with the country's top bureaucrats including the president. The petition is addressed to the president, the Supreme Court, the prime minister, the governor of Karnataka, the chief minister, the commissioner of BBMP, the mayor, the Bangalore Development Authority, corporators, legislators, parliamentarians, chief secretary and ABIDe. More than 40,000 properties in Bangalore are likely to be demolished to widen 227 roads by displacing 38,000 to 2 lakh people for private vehicles.

According to the current law, properties can be acquired for road-widening only under TDR. TDR can be enforced only if the owner is willing. If he isn't willing, the only option open to BBMP is to acquire the property under the Karnataka Land Acquisition Act. But what Bangalore city did was misuse of this tool to take away the fundamental right of a citizen to hold on to his property.

The petition had 105 signatures (on Tuesday, August 10, 2010) and it highlights the misuse of transfer of developmental rights (TDR) and also seeks answers from the government on the issues involved. "We expect justice from the courts for the masses. Courts should also understand people's miseries and uphold their rights," said Justice MF Saldanha, former high court judge.

The petition was created by Syed Tanveeruddin on Monday, July 5, 2010 in PetitionSite a project of http://www.care2.com/ , the largest online network for people who Care2 make a difference. The Petition Site enhances the credibility of online petitions by centralizing signature collection, regulating signature data collection and output, facilitating communication of petitions via fax, email, etc. and by using fraud-reduction technology.

Say no to road widening Online! (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/no-to-road-widening-in-bangalore)

DNA: Bangalore - Bangalore road widening rage goes online - Aparajita Ray - Wednesday, August 11, 2010
http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report_bangalore-road-widening-rage-goes-online_1421805-all 
Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 10:31 IST
By Aparajita Ray | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 10:31 IST - Daily News & Analysis

Here's a chance for those who wish to raise their objection to the BBMP's proposed road-widening project.

An online petition - Say no to road widening in Bangalore - aims to take up the issue with the country's top bureaucrats including the president.

The petition is addressed to the president, the Supreme Court, the prime minister, the governor of Karnataka, the chief minister, the commissioner of BBMP, the mayor, the Bangalore Development Authority, corporators, legislators, parliamentarians, chief secretary and ABIDe.

The petition had 105 signatures till the last checked by DNA on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. It highlights the misuse of transfer of developmental rights (TDR) and also seeks answers from the government on the issues involved.

Prominent citizens have vehemently criticised the road-widening plan.

"TDR is not an instrument to remove the heritage buildings. Moreover, roads marked by the BBMP are not chosen wisely. They should have identified the arterial roads which need widening and chicken neck points which have to be addressed systematically to help smooth traffic flow. What is their aim after widening all 227 roads? Mobility cannot be solved by widening. In fact it gives scope for more vehicles on the roads," said V Ravichandar, civic analyst.

"We expect justice from the courts for the masses. Courts should also understand people's miseries and uphold their rights," said Justice MF Saldanha, former high court judge.

The petition was created by Syed Tanveeruddin on Monday, July 5, 2010.

BBMP's road widening project will displace over 2 lakh people in the city Saturday, July 10, 2010
http://www.mybangalore.com/article/0710/bbmps-road-widening-project-will-displace-over-2-lakh-people-in-the-city-.html 
Meanwhile an online petition has been launched to fight against the road widening project, where the citizens are demanding that all road widening activities be stopped. Also to appoint a quasi-judicial body to oversee all matters related to infrastructure development and to protect the interests of displaced tenants.

Click here to sign the online petition -
Say no to road widening!

Links to other related comprehensive petitions by the same creator (Syed Tanveerudddin) on the unnecessary road widening / widenings and underpasses in Bangalore
01) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/4/say-no-to-sankey-road-widening/
02) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-856-trees-jayamahal-road-bangalore/
03) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/no-to-tagore-circle-underpass/
04) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-pedestrian-infrastructure/ 

Condensed, unfeatured and text only versions of the above related petitions
01) Save 856 trees on Jayamahal Road in Bangalore was created by Syed Tanveeruddin for the environmentally / ecologically conscious and concerned residents / citizens of Bangalore / Bengaluru / Karnataka / India / World and written by Syed Tanveeruddin on Sunday, November 28, 2010 http://www.petitiononline.com/856trees/ 

02) Say no to Tagore Circle underpass in Bangalore was created by Basavanagudi Residents, Bangalore and written by Syed Tanveeruddin on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 http://www.petitiononline.com/underpas/ 

Links to similar or related petitions by others
01) Save Sankey Road and Park created by Save Sankey Road and Park Forum and written by Forum Members http://www.petitiononline.com/sankey 

02) Stop and re-evaluate illegal and irrational ongoing road-widening work in Bangalore was created by and written by Vinay Sreenivasa http://www.petitiononline.com/dntwiden/

Footpaths make all the difference The Hindu Front Page Sunday, November 22, 2009
http://www.hindu.com/2009/11/22/stories/2009112260561800.htm 
Parking is not a constitutional right in any country. It's a private problem that should be solved in private spaces with private money.

Bigger roads and flyovers have never never solved the problem of traffic in any city in the world.

The single biggest difference between the infrastructure of an advanced nation and a backward nation is its footpaths, not its highways.

A bus lane will move 40,000 people per hour. One lane of cars will transport less than 2,000 people.

It is the quality of the footpath that determines the quality of life in a city. In European cities, large areas are roped off for pedestrians and a vibrant street life, while many roads have more space for walkers and cyclists than for car traffic.

In his years as Bogota Mayor, Mr. Penalosa widened footpaths, reduced the number of cars on the roads in peak hours, created a world-class bus rapid transit system (BRTS), reclaimed waterfronts for the public, and - in a move that nearly got him impeached - banned cars from parking on pavements.

We have an extreme scarcity of space - It would be most democratic and efficient to allocate this space in favour of the most people - for buses, cycles and pedestrians.

Apart from considerations of equality is the sheer mathematical impossibility of a city where everyone drives a car regularly.

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