BENGALURU: The cash crunch is pinching. Former chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s pet twin-tower project is likely to lose a tower. The proposed 50-storey tower was to come up on 8.5 acres near Anand Rao flyover, at an estimated cost of Rs 1,250 crore. It was to house all government departments in one place.
Now, due to financial constraints, the Basavaraj Bommai government is likely to reduce it to a single-tower project, which will cost an estimated Rs 625 crore. The government might take up the second tower after some time. The project is coming up around 2km from Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha and MS Building, where offices of Health, Public Works and other departments are now located.
When Yediyurappa was CM in December 2020, the cabinet approved the ambitious twin-tower project which was to have 50 floors each. It was proposed to have 25 meeting halls, and accommodate 60 per cent of State government departments, Central government departments and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) offices. The plan was to connect the building to nearby Kempegowda Metro Station, with a pathway to Vidhana Soudha via Race Course. The National Buildings Construction Corporation was to prepare a detailed project report.
A PWD official said they had proposed a Joint Venture, but are now planning to build it through PWD, with a loan from an external agency. “We are initially proposing a single tower, which will have three basements for parking, a ground floor and 50 floors. The estimated cost is likely to be Rs 625 crore,” the official said.
Sources in the PWD said this required a huge amount, but the State government does not have that much money to spend. “This is why PWD is planning to reduce the cost by half. If the government gets funding in the coming years, another tower will be constructed,’’ sources said.
The ground work has begun, with the health department offices being vacated, and PWD offices to be shifted to the Institute of Engineers on Ambedkar Veedhi. The government will have to take a call on whether it can be reduced to a single tower. PWD Minister CC Patil said they are busy with bypolls. “I will talk to CM Bommai, and hopefully, by November-end, it will be taken forward,’’ he said.