If you are a Bengalurean or have lived in the IT city for a while now, you would know that the traffic here is what nightmares are made of. However, this may soon not be an issue, at least on the iconic and much-loved Church Street, which is likely to be vehicle-free on weekends.
Yes, you heard it right! Bengaluru Development Minister K J George has said that the government is mulling the idea of restricting the entry of vehicles in Church Street on Saturdays and Sundays, reported the New Indian Express. As per the proposal, authorities plan to develop a "Bangalore Square" like the Times Square in New York City.
He also said that a meeting will be held to discuss the matter, after which a decision will be made. And if the proposal gets a nod from all quarters, the "Bangalore Square" is likely to come up on the junction of Residency Road and Brigade Road.
The iconic Church Street has also received a facelift worth Rs 9 crore and is now ready to flaunt a new look, complete with a cobblestoned carriageway of 5.5 metres and footpaths of about 2.5 metres on both the sides.
Not just that, Church Street now also boasts of 56 LED streetlights and nine parking bays that can make place for more than 100 two-wheelers and about 16 four-wheelers.
Iconic #ChurchStreet in Bangalore is getting new look. This shopping/dining street is a walker's delight now. After TenderSure Roads, Church Street is BLR's 1st Pedestrian Priority Street. ? Great Job BBMP & @nnarasimhan. @BBMPCOMM1 @CMofKarnataka @kiranshaw @TVMohandasPai pic.twitter.com/4KLP2XGDA9— RK Misra (@rk_misra) February 22, 2018
The renovation was started in 2017 and was supposed to be completed in six months. While the work appeared slow and missed several deadlines, citizens who frequent the road seem pleased with the results. "It was too messy over here and it was so uncomfortable to walk on the road. Now, it's been made very nice -- a very flat surface so we can walk comfortably," Hema, a local, told NDTV.
She is not the only one happy about it. Francis, who works on Church Street, also said that the work done was very good and lauded the government for it. "Earlier there was so much of traffic, and the last year was not at all comfortable. There was too much chaos and congestion. There was absolutely no walking space, a lot of deviations. People could not walk. It's a very old road, done during the British period. After so many years it has been redone now," Francis told the website.
"Whoever comes to visit the city will come to Brigade Road Church Street. This is the first of its kind in the whole of the country. No government has done such a road anywhere."
MLA N A Haris too is pleased with the results and said that Church Street was the first "handmade" road in India. "Every stone was laid individually. It's an asset," he said.
While most locals seem happy to see the brand new avatar of Church Street, some believe that the road has now become too narrow, due to wider footpaths. Some even believe that the BBMP has "wasted" a lot of space. "Only one vehicle can pass through at a time and the footpaths created are very wide. There is still a lot work pending, but they are already going ahead with the inauguration," Sagar, an advocate, told the Deccan Chronicle.