Activist collective— Citizens of Bengaluru (CfB) which has been consistently opposing the construction of another 100-km long multi-crore elevated corridor across Bengaluru, met Deputy CM and Bengaluru Development Minister G Parameshwara on Wednesday.
They advocated sustainable transport measures for a liveable Bengaluru and pitched for investments to be made in suburban rail, buses and metro rail connectivity along with pedestrianisation as viable and sustainable solutions to Bengaluru’s traffic congestion.
On Monday, CM HD Kumaraswamy was handed a feasibility report by third party consultants in which it was revealed that the project cost will double to Rs 33,000 crore than the Rs 16,000 crores estimated in the budget.
The CfB delegation on Wednesday that met the Deputy CM consisted of co-founders— activists Srinivas Alavilli, Tara Krishnaswamy and Prakash Belawadi, transportation expert Prof Ashish Verma of IISc Bengaluru and architect Naresh Narasimhan.
“We are glad to have presented citizen voices and the Deputy CM kindly made time for it. There are no silver bullet solutions for traffic and projects like elevated corridors worsen both congestion and pollution. The Deputy CM immediately understood the plague of city flyovers from our presentation with traffic piling up above and below. The combination of a full fledged suburban rail, bus and Metro along with pedestrian support is the only viable option and the same 33,000 crores must be invested in that,” Tara Krishnaswamy said.
More importantly, the citizens forum said they will hold a public seminar on sustainable mobility solutions soon, presided by the Deputy CM himself.
Speaking to TNM, Srinivas said, “It was a cordial and long meeting. The Deputy CM also spoke about how Bengaluru was, in his college days. He assured that a decision will be made after due process is followed (all the details will be made public) and public opinion is considered.”
He added, “We have also invited him to a seminar organised by ourselves on how transport should be, to which he said yes. We hope to present a different viewpoint on how this has to be solved.”
Others present at the meeting were BBMP Mayor Sampath Raj and BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad.
CfB was also part of the citizens’ movement opposing the infamous steel flyover, as part of this elevated corridor project. The project was shelved by the erstwhile Siddaramaiah government in the face of massive protests and legal proceedings.
While there is strong support for a mobility-centric solution to the city’s traffic instead of more road infrastructure, there are others including eminent Bengalureans like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, who are for the project.