Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said his government will undertake the construction of the controversial 6.7km steel flyover in Bengaluru as “it has public support”. Siddaramaiah’s statement follows a massive protest against the construction of the 1,791 crore project that will involve the cutting of 812 trees.
On October 16, over 5,000 city residents formed a human chain to express their dissent against the signal-free thoroughfare to the airport. The local municipal body has promised to plant 60,000 saplings in response.
Siddaramaiah said, “The steel flyover project has been totally transparent, as its details were put up on the Bangalore Development Authority website and 73% of the people have favoured the bridge.”
Undaunted by public protests and expert advice against the construction of the bridge, the state administration awarded the contract to Larson and Toubro on September 28. The state Congress government believes the flyover will ease traffic snarls on Bellari road and making the commute to the city’s airport faster and easier. Once completed, the steel flyover will be the first of its kind in the country.
The Bangalore Development Authority released a 10-page document on October 12, answering questions about the project. However, activists and citizens’ groups said the document only talks about the salient features of the project and does not delve into issues such as the need for a mass transit system and alternative routes to the airport. Some citizens have also moved court against the project.