The curious case of Karan Thapar and a flyover

7 August 2012

One of India’s top voices, Lata Mangeshkar, earned a fair bit of negative publicity for opposing the construction of a flyover on busy Peddar road in Bombay because it threatened to disturb her peace of mind.

Now, one of India’s top TV faces is threatening to follow in her footsteps in Delhi.

On July 29, The Times of India reported that anchor Karan Thapar had opposed the expansion of a flyover in the posh Vasant Vihar area because it would eat into the service lane in front of his house.

“Arguing that this could become “a matter of life and death”, Karan Thapar has written to lieutenant-governor Tejendra Khanna, pleading that “at all cost the service lane between houses 1 to 8, Palam Marg (Olaf Palme Marg), must not be further reduced in width but retained at its present width.”

In the letter dated July 13, Thapar claimed he was speaking on behalf of other residents. “I know that Aroon Purie, Editor-in-Chief of India Today and Aajtak, and Harmala Gupta, daughter of late Lt. Gen. Harbaksh Singh, endorse and support the request I am making in this letter…”

“The reason this worries me is that even with the present width of 6m, fire tenders cannot with ease access houses on this stretch of the service lane.”

In a follow-up story on August 5, ToI makes mincemeat of Thapar’s claim, quoting residents in the area who see an attempt “to hold the city to ransom for personal benefit”.

“The claim that it will be a matter of ‘life and death’ as fire engines and ambulances will not be able to reach their house is bogus, as is clear from the fire chief’s statement,” said Ratna Sahai, owner of house no 10, Vasant Marg. “The original Rao Tula Ram flyover was meant to be longer and wider. But these people had used their clout to have this altered and truncated into an abbreviated two-lane flyover to protect their precious service lane.” This allegation had earlier been denied.

Refuting Thapar’s claim that he had approached the president of the residents’ welfare association, Gautam Vohra, president of Vasant Vihar RWA, told TOI: “I have never been approached by Karan Thapar regarding the flyover or any related issue. These people have never raised their voice on water or other problems faced by people of the area, nor have they taken any interest in addressing issues of greater public good.”

Rajni Mathur, resident of C block and RWA member, pointed out that these people had themselves reduced the public service road to beautify what they treated as private land. “These are just a few people who don’t even live here and have never come to the RWA. They have encroached upon the service lane with gardens, guard houses and parked cars. They are concerned about their tenants leaving rather than anything else,” she said.

External reading: Express Newsline

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8 Responses to “The curious case of Karan Thapar and a flyover”

  1. KUMAR IYER Says:

    Karan Thapar ko pakistan Bej do . Wahan sahi rahega

  2. Nandakumar.V Says:

    Interesting but not surprising at all, isn’t it. Hard talk on the asphalt walk….

  3. Deepankar Mukherjee Says:

    Self centered Karan has become Old he talks Non sense he sould take Maun brata for rest of his life

  4. Deepak Arya Says:

    One never knows who is right or wrong. Being selfish is another question, one gets used to certain privacies in life and gets irritated when there is a change. I get irritated when someone parks his car in front of my gate.

  5. prem Says:

    And, these are the men who talk from the pulpit and express moral indignation over the sad state affairs of the country, day in and day out …. He thinks he and Aroon Purie put together can pose a big threat to the establishment, get the authorities to their knees, and save a few litres of petrol from his monthly budget!

  6. ERR Says:

    Thomas Jefferson said once: ‘Equal rights for all, special privileges for none’.


  7. Influential Dilliwalas invariably get their way, affecting everyone else’s lives. Something similar happened in the adjoining colony of Shanti Niketan where I live. Residents of the main road Rao Tularam Marg successfully lobbied with Shiela Dikshit’s government to prevent the metro being built
    on this road. They said an overground metro would spoil their view! So no metro anywhere near us….

    The truncated flyover leads to traffic jams and accidents, it cannot cope with the huge flow to and from Gurgaon and Dwarka. For people of adjacent colonies (Shanti Niketan, Anand Niketan, Westend) the flyover has also blocked our entry into Vasant Vihar through its C Block and access to various facilities e.g. my bank, big post office branch, the office of the Cooperative Society which built this area, the club etc. We have to go twice the distance now.

  8. oommen Says:

    Please see from 8:40 onwards: Karan Thapar with his “Grievance” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4tqLaef2SE


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