Photowalk to document the vanishing greenery of Dr Ambedkar Veedhi

Vinay Sreenivasa and I organized a photowalk to document the last of the beautiful promenade known as Ambedkar Veedhi. One would think that a Government would have the aesthetic sense to leave this most historic of boulevards alone…but no, the Metro must needs run right through this last bastion of public spaces and greenery.

So, to mark the murder of yet another public space, and the funeral of the greenery, we decided to photo-document the stretch of Ambedkar Veedhi…

We started with the desecration that was a tree-shaded Minsk Square, not so long ago; now it’s a desert of cement and concrete:

minsk square 091010

We all met at the General Post Office, one of the lovely buildings at the beginning of Ambedkar Veedhi:

gpo 091010

We were faced with the Metro work signboard immediately:

metro work sign 091010

But we could not help enjoying the greenery that was still there…

greenery 091010

Here are some of us on the photowalk:

on the photowalk 091010

The cameras were out, and clicking could be heard…you can see Juthika, and Mohan, from DNA newspaper, who had come to cover the photowalk:

clicking away 091010

They interviewed us, and the article will be in the 10th October issue of DNA (Sunday).

One of us looked rather bemused; "Is all this really going to be spoilt?" he seemed to be wondering.

bemused smile 091010

Here are some of the group, including Vinay Sreenivasa  and others who are volunteers for Hasiru Usiru:

some of the group 091010

Here’s the beautiful criss-cross of a Traveller’s Palm, one of the trees slated for the axe:

travellers' palm 091010

Here is the marking that says that the tree (a lovely confifer, in this case) is to be axed:

tree marked for cutting 091010

The Government has not even had time to properly  paint the new name of the road (Dr Ambedkar Veedhi) on the old signboard:

dr ambedkar signbd

In front of the High Court gate, the theodolites were out and were in use:

theodolite 091010

We looked up at the Vidhana Soudha…was this the vision that Kengal  Hanumanthiah had for the setting of his jewel?

vidhan soudha 091010

This Black Kite seemed to be perching on a light fixture as if, perhaps, aware that there would be far less trees in the future:

kite on light 091010

The beauty of the High Court Building, which conservationists had saved from demolition, was majestic:

high court bldg

Of course, some tourists were busy plucking all the flowers they could:

plucking the flowers 091010

The High Court and the workmen seemed to represent the past, and the future…and a tense present:

high court and workmen 091010

Already, the bulldozers had begun their work in the High Court complex:

high ct  bulldozer

We slowly wended our way home through the greenery of Cubbon Park, wondering what the Wodeyars, who had laid out such green public spaces, would have made of this destruction in the name of progress:

091010 wodeyar st cb

It was a sad documentation, and we all went home without the usual joy that we get from a photowalk…this was a burial of something that we all loved, and our hearts were heavy.

When we see that the cost of the first phase, alone, of the Metro is right now at  Rs.11,500 crores, we wonder what is the real price we are paying for "development".

Comments:

  1. Deepa Mohan says:

    Comments welcome! This was a purely emotional post.

  2. Palahalli Vishwanath says:

    Thanks. One may have to keep writing such blogs with pictures for many other disappearing faces of the city.The whole area (Cubbon PArk+) is so different from what it used to be. The nearby KR circle area has changed beyond recognition. So has the Maharani college, Shehadri road. We cannot stop ‘ progress ‘. But it could come in without disturbing the past in major ways. Or is it the question of not being able to make omlette without breaking eggs ?

  3. Deepa Mohan says:

    Yes…sadly, I have to agree with you. I wish we had more vision for the future, rather than the craze for motorized transport that I see today.

  4. ashwini shetty says:

    Hi Deepa – You scared and made me sad. You are not personally to blame, ofcourse

  5. Deepa Mohan says:

    I do feel scared, and sad, myself…I feel that our government will not stop until Bangalore is completely desecrated…and then it will be too late….all the repentance will not bring back the vanished beauty.

  6. Pushpa Achanta says:

    Thanks Vinay and Deepa for the initiative and lovely pics. Hope some of this will be spared – we’ll be left seeing them only in photos otherwise!

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