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Weekend carnivals to enliven Church Street this Dec-Jan

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BENGALURU: Church Street, known for its restaurants and pubs, is set to be the preferred hangout of youths as it will host weekend carnivals this December-January.

The Bruhath Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is redeveloping the 750-metre-long street under the TenderSURE project and plans to make it pedestrian-friendly. The project is expected to be completed by November 15. The BBMP plans to open the upgraded road by December 1. Thereafter, the BBMP will organise an open street carnival every weekend till January 2017 as part of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.

N Manjunath Prasad, BBMP Commissioner, told DH: “The carnival on Church Street will be the first such experiment in the city. We are organising it to promote pedestrian activity on the road. During the weekend carnivals, all vehicle movement will be banned. The carnival will help shopkeepers and restaurants do good business.”

The BBMP had earlier decided to ban traffic on weekends to encourage more pedestrian movement on Church Street but holding the carnival was not part of the plan.

K T Nagaraj, Chief Engineer, Project Central, BBMP, said: “The Church Street Shop Owners’ Association came up with the carnival idea. They felt it would be a fitting tribute to Church Street since it’s known for its eateries and is frequented mostly by youth from all over the city and usually on weekends.”

Deepak Batavia, president of the association, said: “Organising the carnival is certainly a good idea and we thank the BBMP for it. The initiative will increase the footfall. For the last seven months, we have suffered losses because of the ongoing road repair. The carnival should help us make up for the losses as well as attract foreign tourists.”

He added: “We plan to come up with more discounts during the carnival. Visitors can expect music, street dances, rock shows and other special programmes. This will create a festive atmosphere for youngsters.”

Varun Joseph, a student who visits Church Street regularly, said: “This is a good initiative by the civic authorities. I love the concept. But the civic authorities and the police should make sure there is proper security during the carnival.”

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