After hundreds of Bengalureans hit the streets on Saturday demanding the cancellation of a hurriedly called tender for the first phase of the controversial elevated corridor project, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy on Tuesday met activists opposing the project.
The CM assured them that a detailed discussion on the subject would be held soon after the general elections were over. He also promised to hold wide-ranging public consultations on the issue of mobility before proceeding with the project.
Among those who were present at Tuesdayâ€™s meeting were Leo Saldanha of the Environment Support Group, Prof Ashish Verma of IISc, renowned theatre personality Prakash Belawadi, Naresh Narasimhan, Vinay Sreenivasa of Bengaluru Bus Prayaneekara Vedike (BBPV), Zibi Jamal of Whitefield Rising, and Isaac Amritraj of Slum Janaandolana Sanghatane, and Srinivas Alavilli and Tara Krishnaswamy of Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB).
â€śThe CM mentioned that he is not committed to any one project or the other but that he is clear that this crisis is an opportunity for him to leave a legacy for a sustainable Bengaluru for many decades to come. The citizensâ€™ representatives would like to thank CM HD Kumaraswamy for noticing public emotion and his genuine outreach,â€ť a joint statement from the activists said.
â€śHe also received Prof Vermaâ€™s mobility report and promised to personally review the document and the alternative proposals,â€ť the statement noted.
The opposition to the elevated corridor project has been gathering momentum since it was announced by the chief minister in his first budget in 2018 itself.
Saturdayâ€™s protests, similar to that against the steel bridge in 2016, were carried out after the government called for tenders for the project without any public consultation as was promised by both the CM and the Deputy CM.
Protesters, including students, residents and experts from more than 50 organisations, converged at the Gandhi Statue in Maurya Circle demanding that the government cancel the tender for the Rs 27,000 crore project.