Traffic was held up for hours on Tuesday, as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated the six modified roads in Bengaluru.
The Chief Minister took a joy ride in a Volvo bus across the city for the event, while holding up traffic at various major junctions in the city.
However, the highlight of the event was the announcement that 40 more roads would be included under TenderSURE.
While addressing a gathering in the central business district, Siddaramaiah said that ongoing work would be expedited and 40 more roads will be included for upgradation under the TenderSURE project in package-4.
“TenderSURE one of the best projects, which will make Bengaluru’s roads meet global standards. Residents worry because of the slow pace of the work. I have directed the BBMP officials and others involved in these projects to speed up the process,” the CM said.
The six roads renovated under TenderSURE includes Richmond Road (General Thimmaiah Road), Residency Road (Field Marshal Cariappa Road), Commissariat Road, Museum Road, Nrupatunga Road and Kempegowda Road at an event held near the War Memorial at the Brigade Road-Residency Road Junction.
“We want to upgrade 90 roads in four packages and the 40 new roads, which have been identified will come under package-4. Officials are still in the process of identifying these 40 roads,” Siddaramaiah said.
Initially, the TenderSURE projects were under three packages and included 50 roads in the city. Richmond Road, Residency Road, Commissariat Road and Museum Road have already been upgraded under package-1, and Nrupatunga Road and Kempegowda Road are part of package-2.
Cunningham Road, Vittal Mallya Hospital Road and St Marks Road, which were under package-1, have already been inaugurated.
The modification of Church Street, which is going at a snail’s pace, is in package-2. Siddaramaiah said that the street would be ready by December.
Under package-3, 12 roads have been identified and tenders have been issued for only six roads.
In the year 2017 Karnataka budget, the state government had allotted Rs 7,300 crore for infrastructure development in Bengaluru. Out of this, the CM said that Rs 700 crore will be allotted for TenderSURE projects.
“TenderSURE projects aim at designing of urban roads with amenities for pedestrians and cyclists. The streets will include bus, auto and parking areas and also bicycle lanes. These roads will have separate utility ducts and tertiary storm water drains to avoid laying utility lines,”he added.
Researchers, who have studied the roads being constructed under the project in Bengaluru, have alleged that the roads have simply not factored in the environment in its design, while claiming that they are model roads.
The designers of the project, Jana Urban Space Foundation (JUSP), had earlier told TNM: "This particular design factor has adversely affected the trees, weakening their roots. Trees have fallen in some places because their roots weakened on account of the footpath design. In other places, activists and city-dwellers have opposed the cutting of trees on roads where the project is being implemented.”
The utilities under the footpath do not allow for trees to be planted in future as there is no soil for 10 feet under these footpaths.
Even the Palike and the Bengaluru Traffic police were strongly opposed to the project when it was proposed in 2012 to the state government, and even subsequently.