BENGALURU: The revival of an old project — to build six elevated corridors in the city — by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had major civic activist groups up in arms on Thursday as they were of the opinion that this was a bad move for the city. While Kumaraswamy, in his budget speech, said that these elevated corridors would help smooth the flow of traffic around the city, many argued that this was just a move to encourage more people to purchase vehicles in a city which is already struggling with over 70 lakh vehicles on the roads.
The six corridors, three major and three connecting corridors, will cover a length of 95 kilometres and will be constructed on a Public Private Partnership (PPP)- Hybrid Annuity (HAM) model. In financial terminology, HAM is an arrangement where payment is made in a fixed amount for a considerable time and then in a variable amount for the remaining duration.
Connecting areas like Hebbal to Silk Board and KR Puram to Goraguntepalya with smaller corridors connecting Minerva Circle, NICE road junction, Varthur Kodi and Richmond circle, the total project cost is expected to be Rs 15,825 crore out of which Rs 1,000 crore has been allotted in this year’s budget. The project will be implemented in 5 phases over the next 4 years, Kumaraswamy said.
A similar project was mooted by the previous Congress government in 2015 when the then Bengaluru in-charge minister Ramalinga Reddy had visited New Delhi to get the Central Government’s approval for a fund-sharing arrangement for the same. However, it was then scrapped amidst vociferous opposition to the steel flyover project.
This time around as well, citizens groups expressed their disappointment with Kumaraswamy for bringing back the controversial project. “The announcement was a rude shock to all of us who fought for sustainable transport with the #SteelFlyoverBeda campaign. Elevated corridors lead to more cars which we don’t need right now.
The corridors will also involve removing trees adding to pollution levels. When the government cannot prioritise suburban rail, what message does this convey? That they would rather see more congestion?,” questioned Srinivas Alavilli of Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB). The group is now planning a campaign in which members will call their MLA to protest against the project.
The five phases are...
from Esteem Mall at Hebbal to Silk Board junction and connecting corridor-1 for a length of 23.03km.
Phase-2 East-West corridor 1- KR Puram to Goraguntepalya including Ramamurthy Nagar (Ring road) to ITPL stretch and connecting corridor-2 and 3 for a length of 36.70km.
Loop at CBD area (at Hudson Circle, Richmond circle, Double road, J.C road) and stretch over SWD at Shantinagar for a length of 11.37km.
Phase-4 Part of East west corridor 2 from Minerva Circle to Nice junction for 6.60km.
Phase-5 Part of East west corridor 2 from Varthur Kodi to Richmond Circle for 17.10km