Upgrade Sarjapur road, Azim Premji urges HD Kumaraswamy

Premji urged the chief minister to upgrade the 8-km stretch, which is also the main access to the software giant’s headquarters at Sarjapur.

BENGALURU: Wipro chairman Azim Premji on Tuesday met Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy at the Vidhana Soudha and drew his attention to the bad condition of the road from the Iblur junction to Carmelaram and the resultant traffic mess.

He urged the chief minister to upgrade the 8-km stretch, which is also the main access to the software giant’s headquarters at Sarjapur.

Mahendra Jain, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development Department, and BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad were present during the brief meeting.

“Premji met me in connection with the delay in the completion of a road work at Sarjapur. The place has several software companies and the congestion on the stretch is causing problems to people using the road,” the chief minister told the media later. The project was included in BBMP’s action plan last year. The chief minister has asked the civic body, BBMP, to complete the road work in four months. The civic body is spending Rs 85 crore on upgrading the road.

Wipro has also offered to cede plots of land necessary for road-widening. A few other corporates and builders on the stretch have also offered to part with land as a wider road will lead to an appreciation in land prices besides making access easier.

Thousands of technology professionals working at Wipro and other software firms in Sarjapur area use the narrow stretch for everyday commute. The road does not have a proper footpath, which has been encroached upon at places. There are complaints of illegal parking on this stretch which has aggravated the congestion. “This road-widening project was an old one tendered last year but land acquisition issues delayed its progress,” said Jain, the Additional Chief Secretary.

The project was delayed as the BBMP ran into land acquisition issues with sections of landowners resisting the civic body’s efforts. “Some corporates, including Wipro, have, on their own, given us the land. Wherever we have had issues, we will acquire the land as per the new TDR (transferable development rights),” he said. The BBMP has already started the work, Jain said. The civic body will complete the work at stretches where there are no issues with regard to land availability.

Though the chief minister has asked the BBMP to complete the roadwidening work in four months, officials believe they may not be able to meet the ambitious deadline in view of the difficulties in getting possession of land at many places.
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