Sunday carnival: When Bengalureans owned MG Road for a day

The road had children and adults skateboarding, riding bicycles; stalls dotted whole stretch.

Bengaluru: This Sunday carnival atmosphere oozed all over the arterial M.G. Road, with cartoon characters, entertainers in fancy costumes, good music and lots of fun-filled activities was on offer for Bengalureans.

This landmark road, notorious for traffic gridlocks and high decibel honking, had children and adults skateboarding, riding bicycles and a range of stalls dotted the whole stretch.

“Me and my husband took our cycles and came from Whitefield to MG Road,” said an excited Gayathri, who was looking forward to enjoy a different kind of Sunday evening on the city’s arterial road.

It is not just Gayathri, but more than 75,000 city-dwellers shared the same excitement as MG Road as it turned into a venue for open street, an initiative taken by Directorate of Urban Land Transportation, (DULT) and State Tourism Department to promote public transport and urban tourism in the city.

The main stretch witnessed a range of fun filled activities for both children and adults. “I have come here along with my son so that he can ride his cycle, but we both are also getting distracted by other activities happening around us,” observed Madhusudhan (40), who came along with his son Akshath. The twelve hour long vehicle free day from 9 am to 9 pm on MG road witnessed a host of events. There was music, fun activities for children along with cultural dance as well.

There were entertainers and performers showcasing their talent through buskers, hiphop, break dance and stand-up comedy. Artists did random street art on the road. There were story-telling sessions and theatre; and of course street food, games and flea market as well. Some 110 stalls including arts and craft, food stalls and other commercial stalls.

“We will execute this plan further in other areas of city too. MG Road will be brimming with fun filled activities throughout the day and pedestrian will feel happy to participate in the vehicle free street,” said M.A. Saleem, Traffic Commissioner, who informed that similar effort was appreciated by people in Commercial street as well.

“From 12 pm the crowd picked up and we could see many families pouring in and some 20,000 to 25,000 people were at this stretch then and it has only increased,” said U.A. Vasanth Rao, Chief Public Relations Officer, BMRCL.

“Both BMTC and metro have planned a feeder route service wherein people have parked their vehicles at various spots across the city and taken public transports to reach MG Road,” he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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