Among the many Road Junctions that have been earmarked for improvement, the Basaveswara Junction opposite Hotel Chalukya is the first on the list, given the upcoming inauguration of the Basaveswara statue .
Not only those in the immediate vicinity, but the community, those in the broader east zone and road users have come together to provide meaningful suggestions and inputs on this, so that this historical structure is something which will not only be functional, aesthetic but also something we can look back at in the future as something that was a collective, collaborative city treasure.
At the Mayor’s suggestion, an informal meeting (in fact using a car bonnet as a table!) was held on 22nd February with the architect Rakesh Kadoth and designer Ms Madhu clarifying the group’s concerns and doubts, while explaining the concept via PowerPoint to us. Traffic flow and pedestrian use is critical. High Grounds Police Traffic Inspector Basavaraja Teli also came in to understand the community point of view, traffic flow especially from experts like Raj Dugar, Sonal Kulkarni, Ajay Tandon etc. of Citizens for Citizens (C4C) who have already spent time on this. #HeritageBeku representative Priya Chetty-Rajagopal also gave her inputs on the design and spatial contiguity while High Point Building representatives were comfortable about their high rise building being requisitioned as an aesthetic backdrop for the new circle.
Aesthetics are important and we appreciated the attention to detail & heritage flavour on the pillars and murals, However the work already done behind the statue by the previous administration needs a relook. this needs to be integrated into the broader zone and look & feel as well.
The basic need to not look at Chalukya Junction in isolation vis-à-vis Traffic has been highlighted adequately with Pictures, Diagrams and Videos by Team C4C, since High Grounds Junction which is just 180m away has a direct impact on Basaveswara Junction. With improvements at High Grounds Junction for better traffic flow, the effect in the area will be to reduce the traffic congestion and pollution, which is what is most needed in Namma Bengaluru everywhere. Several edits to the Traffic Flow plan at Basaveswara Junction presented by the Architects have also been suggested so as to improve traffic flow. One must remember that massive traffic flows through these 2 junctions on account of nearby Vidhana Soudha as well as this being a major route to reach the Airport.
All these ideas and concerns before the meeting were pooled in by creating a whatsapp group, and shared with the informal team. ( Please refer the Annexure).
However there has been a long silence after that and we are deeply concerned that the plans for the circle might not incorporate or use the community ideas even at that later time. Hence before the design is finalized, tender is released and any further steps are taken, we earnestly request the primary stakeholders namely the Hon Mayor, the concerned Chief Engineer at BBMP, The DCP traffic and PWD (as required) to set up a meeting to share the progress and plans for the circle before any further steps are taken. We are confident that this idea and plan will reflect a truly community spirit and strong functionality if it is properly actioned . We also request our honorable MP (Bengaluru Central) Mr. PC Mohan and our local MLA Mr. Rizwan Arshad to provide their overview and guidance, given the heritage and strongly cultural aspects of this visible & venerable Basaveswara Circle.
We look forward to hearing on this and next steps on the Circle plans