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Chellaram Skywalk & High Grounds Circle -Add Heritage

6th April 2023

Mr. Prahalad

Chief Engineer – BBMP

NR Road

Bangalore 560002

Sent via Email & Whatsapp

Dear Sir:

Subject: Construction of Skywalk , Race Course Rd and developing the High ground circle.

Grateful we have spoken about some of these issues and I have also reached out to Mr Jayasimha the AEE of BBMP TEC.

As mentioned, we were surprised to see construction of a skywalk at the RN Chellaram College and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan location, as we had no information about this at all in the ward committee meeting. It is always important to share such large projects which hugely impact the community at the ward level so that we can also support and suggest , as we are more informed and sensitive to our own area and community. While Mr Jayasimha clarified last week that this construction is to aid crossing especially for the students, has assured us on whatsapp that it will be aesthetic, strong, well integrated and completely advertisement free, we are concerned as we do not have the details of the project or the necessary drawings for us to apply ourselves or give our thoughts. In addition, being part of the GoK Heritage and Education district as laid out by the GoK ,it is critical for us to be able to represent the heritage of this region given the proximity and colocation Basaveshwara circle, Vidhana Soudha, Raj bhavan and many heritage buildings in and around this area. This area is part of the Palace Trail as well.

Spatial contiguity is key, so we urge you to please share some thoughts now on the blending of this modern steel skywalk into the surrounding space, not AFTER you freeze the design. In addition, the old and ugly sign board or gantry (white) which was there from a long time, continues to be there - completely redundant and superfluous and in addition creates a very ugly impression of 2 large steel structures, one behind the other, (in picture, please see that old gantry is white and new is yellow) completely crowding/ downgrading the road. This needs to be removed at the earliest and the one sky walk can remain. Please do not let both exist.

Similarly the new design for the much needed High Ground Police island should be dignified and a heritage-sensitive which is reflective of the area around which is the Golf Club, Balabrooie, the BWSSB heritage location. National Military Memorial Park as well as the Basava Statue and Basaveshwara circle immediately on the periphery. While there are many issues that we can discuss with you, the important ones remain in taking the local ward and community into discussion and confidence, building strong and strictly necessary structures with a strong focus on spatial contiguity & aesthetics.

The issues around the Sophia Skywalk (unused, no lift, rampant advertisement misuse, ill maintained & ugly) , four unused subways around Legislators Home as well as the garish and illegal LED Signboards at BSNL Bus stop at Devaraj Urs Rd , near Valmiki Park, remain unaddressed despite promises.

We trust we will have your complete support and partnership in creating something that Bangalore will be very proud of rather than one more ugly steel and concrete structure. It’s a small step but can impact community building and city loyalty. Thank you!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Priya Chetty-Rajagopal

Co-Founder, Heritage Beku

CC Mr Jayasimha AEE , BBMP TEC

CC: Manjunath Prasad, IAS


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