BENGALURU: TenderSURE initiative is helping the city’s elite corner resources, claimed civic activists at meeting at CMS Hall, on Mission Road, on Wednesday.
Justice C G Hungund, Member of Karnataka State Human Rights Commission and one of the speakers at the event, cited flaws in the project and said a public interest litigation should be filed and also complaints should be filed with the Lokayukta. At the meeting, civic activists claimed that over `100 crore have been pumped in to develop just 10.2 km of roads.
Hungund said, “There is a clear-cut violation of human rights as there is no provision for the mobility of disabled on the footpath along TenderSURE roads.” He added that the activists from Forum for Urban Governance and Commons had brought the violations of tender conditions to his notice.
“The project TenderSURE raises a concern of transparency,” he said.
After the roads are completed, asking the vendors to go elsewhere is not a solution, he said. The real development in civic amenities would be when the transit arrangement is made for them before any project is done, he said. “For such a project, public consultation is necessary,” he said and added that the BBMP authorities have ignored that.
He was critical of the Metro rail project as well and said that the authorities have failed to provide basic facilities like sanitation and water in one of the reaches. Justice Hungund said that when officials were questioned they were dismissive and said that it was only a matter of ten minutes. “Hence, they said, these facilities were not necessary,” he said. The metro has not eased the traffic congestion either, he said. Since people do not have adequate parking facilities to bring their vehicles to the station.
Nandana Reddy, a child rights activist, said, “The TenderSURE project with huge utility ducts running under the pavements is being promoted using enormous amounts of public money to benefit the business interests of the construction lobby, which is advocating for relaxed Floor Surface Index to build skyscrapers in the centre of Bengaluru — a typical case of using public money for private profiteering by the super rich of the city. But the issue is not just about the financial implications and the many conflicts of interest but of larger issues of social justice and democracy. With unbridled impunity, the super rich are arrogating the decision-making spaces meant for elected representatives.”
Activists Professor Jeevan Kumar and Thomas Mathew also took part in the panel discussion and expressed similar sentiments and demanded a probe into the project. Professor Jeevan Kumar said, “Even the Karnataka Town and Community Planning Act of 1961 Forest Act are being violated and trees are being cut.”