Commercial Street still on ‘rework’ mode

BBMP City

The 14-day rework program has not shown any progress even after a month.

There is no progress in the Commercial Street 14-day rework program even after a month.

“The work is in progress. It is not a rework program. The work was never completed on Commercial Street,” said Gopal Reddy, Assistant Engineer of Bengaluru Smart City Limited. “Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) are currently working on the project,” he added. He complained that the two organisations did not coordinate with each other.

“We were informed that the rework will be done in phases. We were assured that it will not affect the business. But, the dug up roads are affecting the business and we have no idea when it will be completed,” Said Sanjay Motwani, president of Bengaluru Commercial Association. 

Only Commercial Street is being modified under the project. The neighbouring streets get flooded after the rains. The potholes on the roads make it difficult for pedestrians to walk. “They should work on the neighbouring streets too because only working on Commercial Street won’t help the shopkeepers. Working on a single street doesn’t make any sense,” said Ateeq Ahmed Surati, Zaara Footwear Shop owner at Shivajianagar Road near Commercial Street.

Nethravati S, Assistant Professor of Civil Department of R V Engineering College said, “The roads don’t last long because the focus is on widening the roads rather than reconstructing them. The problem lies in the inability to block the roads for construction and limited time to work on a specific project.” She added, “fourteen days are not enough for reconstruction as roads can’t be blocked at peak hours keeping in mind to not hamper the business of the shopkeepers.”

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“They had placed colourful blocks on the streets, but the colours faded within two weeks of inauguration. They took them out and the work is on hold since then,” said Manish R, the security guard of Sri Krishna Diamonds and Jewellery at Commercial Street.

A report suggests that makeover of the Commercial Street was conceptualised in January 2019. Commercial Street along with the neighbouring Shivajianagar area was meant to get   overall makeover. The contract was given to Yoga and Co following a tendering process. All the utility lines were supposed to be shifted underground. The Rs. 5.5 crore project was supposed to start in May 2020 but was on hold due to the pandemic. The project was to make Commercial Street colourful and meant for pedestrians only. The street was inaugurated in July 2021 but the colours faded within few weeks and rework began on September 13.

The business in Commercial Street is being affected because of the ongoing makeover project. The potholes on the street are water-logged during rains and make it difficult to walk. The business was already affected by the pandemic and the never-ending makeover project is adding to the loss,” said A. N. Ramesh, a shopkeeper at the Commercial Street. 

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