Brigade road pipeline digs into customer turnout

Bangalore BBMP City

Several stores at Brigade road, one of the busiest areas of the cities, are seeing a drop in sales due to BBMP construction work.

Bangalore: The ongoing work of laying pipelines at Brigade Road, Bangalore in order to turn the city into a Smart City has negatively impacted the sales of the stores in the area. Locals visiting the area face difficulties as the shops on one side of the road are completely blocked by dug-up footpaths or the material placed in front of it.      

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is laying pipelines for better stormwater facilities. Four lines are for Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM), the other four for optical fibers and the last two are for Kaveri Drinking water supply, said Mani, a BBMP site engineer.

The construction has been going on since the past two weeks and will take another two months to get completed

“The work is being done to upgrade the city. We are trying to finish it as soon as possible because we don’t want to cause inconvenience to the stores here. The ongoing work is to lay the pipelines which are an important factor for a smart city”, he added.

“The market has been down since last year. COVID was highly affecting the business and then they started digging up the footpath which made the business worse. The sales have gone down by almost 50 to 60 percent. We used to sell goods of over Rs. one lakh on a monthly basis but now not more than Rs. 50,000 is being made by the store”, said Anant Gowda, an employee at Blackberrys.

Gayatri Rawal, Fashion Consultant at Allen Solly said, “We’ve been facing a lot of technical issues because of the work. There was no internet connection in the store as the Wi-Fi was down. We’ve sold nothing in the last two weekends as it’s very difficult for the customers to enter the store. Due to the footpath that has been dug up, there is a gap between the road and the store which one can’t easily jump over.”           

“Parking in this area is another major issue. The sales had slowly begun to pick up after almost a year but the parking space issue is an additional problem that we have to deal with now. The entire area near the store is destroyed. Our customers include elders and kids. The work has caused technical issues, too”, said Clement, an employee at XTEP Sports Flagship Store.

However, Irshad Hamid, owner of a local clothing shop was nonchalant. “The work is not causing us any trouble. It is going on very smoothly and at a great speed. It’s for our own good and we are cooperating with the workers.”

“The work began on February 8 and we’ll take about two months more to get done. Work on one side of the road will be completed in the next two weeks and then the other side will be under construction,” said Ehsaan Ali, one of the construction workers who are in charge of mixing cement for the work.      
Manoj, a frequent visitor at Brigade road, had his car parked at the space near the side under work. He found it difficult to find a parking space after the construction started as there’s no parking lot nearby. The closest one is half a kilometer away. “It is inconvenient for us to park and then come back to the shop, but it’s helping the city upgrade so the citizens should cooperate.”

“This has been the situation all around the city for the last three months. They’ve dug up every second road here. Apart from the sales going down, the increase in pollution and the amount of waste being dumped is also an issue. The state should come up with better options to carry out this plan. We surveyed in 2004 when the monorail work was on, which suggested that the government can come up with better plans for construction in the city.” said Ravi Nagapta, CEO of Lasane Infra Private Limited, an urban planning firm.

The Smart Cities Mission is an initiative by the Government of India to positively change the lives of the citizens with a cleaner and sustainable environment. The Ministry of Urban Development had approved the Smart City Proposal for Bangalore in Round 3 of the Smart Cities Challenge on June 28, 2017.

The ongoing work around the city has caused similar problems to the motorists and pedestrians as well in other areas of the city.