An overflowing shaft flooding the busy Avenue Road in the heart of the city has shocked merchants and buyers already affected by BenSCL’s snail-like civic work.
Crowded in the morning, the congested network was left unattended throughout the day. In the absence of an ombudsman who could solve the problem, buyers and traders were seen wading through the sewer on the street and cursing the officers.
They agitated against the engineers at Bengaluru Smart City Limited (BenSCL). âThe street hardly has a proper footpath for pedestrians or shoppers. Now the sewage overflows. How do customers get into the store in this case? âAsked a bookstore owner on the route.
âThe work on smart city projects must be done in a smart way without affecting business,â said trade activist Sajjan Raj Mehta.
âDespite constant reminders, only a few roads have been completely expanded, including that on the intervention of local leaders. Merchants are already affected by the Covid-induced lockdown and are again affected by this situation, “he added, pointing out:” The volume of business has decreased drastically. “
A saree wholesaler on the route said the slow pace of work had ruined any hope of good business over the Christmas season.
âWe had our hopes on the Dasara and Deepavali seasons. But the excavated streets and lack of footpaths have driven the buyers away. Now we have been hit hard by that long delay and poor utility maintenance, âhe said.
BenSCL engineers claimed that the sewage overflow was a temporary problem. “Traders are pushing rubbish down the open drains (on the line) that may have clogged the sewer system,” said an engineer who oversaw the work here, insisting that they clean the drain every night before work begins.
The engineer also said 75% of the work on the line is complete and they hope to complete the remaining work by February 2022. When the work began in January of this year, traders were promised that it would be completed by June. In reality, however, the work shows no signs of completion.
“During the day it is almost impossible to work on the street because of the heavy pedestrian traffic,” a BenSCL official explained the delay.
“It was supposed to be paved sooner, but later the authorities decided to whitewash the roads.”
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