Bengaluru: Church Street weekend vehicle ban extended till May 31 | Bengaluru News – Times of India
The Church Street project has earned flak from residents as it has led to crowding
BENGALURU: While the health department has been preaching about the importance of following social distancing and wearing masks to contain the Covid-19 surge, the department of urban land transport (DULT) and traffic police have decided to continue with the pedestrianisation of Church Street during weekends for another two months.
The street in central business district (CBD) has been closed for vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays for over four months. While business establishments on the road began to witness an increase in footfall, the pedestrian-only project drew flak from residents of the street as it resulted in overcrowding, violation of Covid protocols and increase in pollution levels.
The residents had dashed off letters to the government, stating business interests should not precede health concerns of people and the project should be terminated.
Police commissioner Kamal Pant said: “We are extending the project till May 31 following a request from DULT.” Meanwhile, DULT justified the extension, saying it was encouraging public transport, walking and cycling, and trying to make Bengaluru a sustainable city.
However, the residents maintained decisions were taken unilaterally without holding any consultations with them.
Sameera Fernandez, whose parents live on Church Street, says the residents were disturbed by DULT’s decision. “We were not consulted before they took such a decision. The last time we met them, we informed them about some issues that residents face, but they blatantly said they were false claims,” she said. “If DULT doesn’t address our problems, we’ll be left with no option but to take the legal route,” she added.
Minati Ambarish, member, Church Street Welfare Association, said, “DULT has to stop ruling our lives. They sent an email on Thursday, at a short notice. All our plans had to be changed or cancelled.” She further said, “Every time we order something from any ecommerce website, we have to think so much. If it gets delivered during the weekend, it gets returned.”