BENGALURU: Bengaluru Development Authority today gave an undertaking to the Karnataka High Court that it would not go ahead with construction of a steel flyover here "as of now" after the National Green Tribunal had granted an interim stay on the controversial project.
The southern bench of NGT had recently restrained the BDA from proceeding with the project for four weeks and posted the matter to November 25 for further hearing. The tribunal had granted interim stay on petitions from Neelaiah, Citizen Action Forum and others, which opposed the project on environmental grounds.
The Rs 1,761-crore project of BDA is to construct a 6.72- km-long, six-lane steel flyover between Basaveshwara Circle and Hebbal to decongest traffic, but it has run into rough weather as it involved felling of an estimated over 800 trees.
Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) had filed a petition before the high court, seeking a stay on the construction after raising questions about the constitutionality of the project. NBF also claimed that the tender for the project was called in March, but a public consultation was held only in June.
As protests mounted against the project, Bengaluru Development Minister K J George had dismissed it as a 'political gimmick' and said the government had taken the decision after consultations with experts and due diligence.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had defended the proposed construction of the steel flyover, calling it "totally transparent" and claimed the project was proposed in 2010 and announced in the 2014-15 budget. The project has also come in for resistance from social activists and several civic groups, mostly on environmental concerns.