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Amidst civic chaos can Open Street Festival bring back Bengaluru's lost glory?

  • The first Open Street Festival was hosted at the MG Road.
  • This festival is hosted to attract tourists to the city and also to ‘regain its past glory and heritage’.
  • The residents of this year's venue 100 feet road in Indianagar has been assured that their concerns will be addressed by the authority.
Open Street Festival in Bengaluru
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Earlier this month, Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George and Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge decided to host a one-day Open Street Festival on the 100 feet road of Indiranagar on January 15. This one-day festival traffic will be prohibited to allow free pedestrian movements and visitors. 


Last year, a similar festival was hosted in MG Road of the city and officials confirmed that gradually this festival will be extended for other landmark roads of the city. The aim of this festival is to attract tourists to the city and also to ‘regain its past glory and heritage’.


However, recently while meeting with MLA N.A. Harris, eight RWAs expressed their concern about the festival and raised questions about the civic issues faced by the Indiranagar. Residents in a letter, also asked how 'The Open Street Festival is in no way regaining its (Indiranagar) past glory and heritage as your idea claims'?


The residents have been assured that the concerns will be addressed and considered but, the residents are not convinced. 


The question that remains is how an Open Street Festival is supposed to regain past glory and heritage of the city. 


This city has been dramatic changes in a very less span of time due to rapid commercialisation. Once the places that were peaceful residential areas have found themselves in the middle of growing pub and night culture. 


However, the city infrastructure and town planning have not been that rapid leading to encroachment, unauthorised buildings, parking difficulty, bumper to bumper traffic, insufficient waste management and what not.  


The Open Street Festival also focuses on activities that are not city specific or cultural, apart from the traffic is barred causing more inconvenience to the residents of the locality. 


The planning for such event is on the available facility basis, and no thought goes into making alternate arrangements for accommodating the regular activities of the residents. 


Though the intention of the government and authorities is no doubt visionary and impressive but, before going ahead with extravagant plans, it is important to address civic issues and improve the city's infrastructure to make such festival a success. 

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