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Bengaluru: Citizens protests stop construction of proposed steel flyover

Citizens have protested not only against the cost of the project but also against what they call a lack of planning for an increasingly congested Bengaluru.

Bringing a landslide victory to citizens, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) on November 3 (Thursday) gave an undertaking to Karnataka High Court that it will not construct with the proposed steel flyover in Bengaluru.

In October the citizens protested against a government plan to build a steel bridge that will make travelling to the airport easier, in a project that will cost the city 1,800 crores and more than 800 trees.

According to the reports, Citizens, some of who have moved the High Court against the proposed bridge, have protested not only against the cost of the project but also against what they call a lack of planning for an increasingly congested Bengaluru.

It has been noted that the proposed steel structure which is 6.72 km long, is estimated to cost Rs 1,800 crores and was to connect the city centre to the Hebbal flyover. The state government argued that the bridge will serve multiple needs of the city, easing traffic jams on the route to the international airport and also from a key national highway. KJ George, Minister for Bengaluru Development and State Town Planning, tweeted a detailed project plan addressing concerns like cost, likely damage to heritage buildings and the need to cut down 812 trees, promising that 60,000 saplings will be planted elsewhere in the city.

Reportedly, Bangaloreans had rejected the government’s justifications saying, “The big concern is that the project is opaque.” Activist Priya Rajagopal further added, “such a huge expenditure to cut down travel time to the airport by 7-10 minutes is justified?”

On an early October Sunday, thousands of people came out on the streets of the city to form human chains in protest against the state cabinet’s okay for the 6.72 km steel structure, to be built between Bengaluru’s Basaveshwara circle and Hebbal. The effect of this protest is the stay of the proposed steel flyover.

It has been reported that the high court will now examine all legal and constitutional issues related to the steel flyover for sanctioning Rs 50 lakh grant to a trust allegedly in a fraudulent manner in 2001.

Reportedly, Karnataka HC told petitioner Manjunath (who filed a petition against Tipu Jayanthi) to take his objections to Chief Secretary.

It is expected that those opposing the construction of the flyover plan will hold a hunger-strike on November 6 to further pressurise the state government to cancel it.

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