The massive human chain protest by Bellandur residents on December 6, demanding a skywalk at the Outer Ring Road has not gone in vain.
At a meeting on Saturday, Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan promised the residents that the proposed skywalk will see the light of the day in three months.
The proposed skywalk will be built wholly with Corporate Social Responsibility funds.
“Some companies have come forward to fund the project. There won’t be any government funding in it,” MP Mohan told TNM.
It was also decided that the skywalk will be named after 19-year-old Sanjay Giri who lost his life while crossing the dreaded stretch on November 29 which was the trigger of the protests. Sanjay used to work as a security guard at the Akme Harmony apartment complex.
The meeting was also attended by DCP Traffic Abhishek Goyal, BMRCL Chief Engineer Livingstone Eliazer and 130 Bellandur citizen association representatives and civic activists.
The BMRCL also gave the nod to build the skywalk at the proposed location during a spot survey.
A detailed feasibility and skywalk design recommendation report is expected by next week. The Phase-II of the Namma Metro is set to be built along the Outer Ring Road, making it mandatory for any construction on the stretch to be approved by the metro authorities.
“Till now there was a lot of miscommunication with the residents and authorities. With the BMRCL officials present in the meeting yesterday, now it will be done,” PC Mohan added.
DCP Goyal also promised safe pedestrian crossing measures to be installed at the Ibbalur junction and Bellandur junction.
The massive protests on December 6 forced the traffic police to deploy a constable each in the morning and evening until the skywalk is built.
The nearest skywalk from the spot where Sanjay was hit is in Ecospace (1.4 km away).
This skywalk was built in August 2016 and was also majorly funded by the Outer Ring Roads Companies Association, an umbrella organisation of 30 companies having their offices on either side of the Outer Ring Road.
The Outer Ring Road was meant to be a signal-free high-speed vehicle corridor encircling the city, but became densely populated as the city expanded and offices and industries were set up along it.
From Ibblur to Marathahalli alone, there are four major tech parks — Ecospace, Embassy Tech Village, Prestige Tech Park and Cessna Business Park.
According to Bellandur residents, despite number of follow-ups with BBMP officials, corporator Asha and the Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George, in more than two and a half years there has been no positive development regarding better pedestrian facilities except empty promises.
“Even after the December 6 demonstration, the BBMP officials asked the protesters to get a NOC from the BMRCL. Approaching the MLA also did not help our cause,” a resident-activist told TNM.
Another activist said, "The BBMP said that they don't have funds to allocate for the skywalk. They have funds only for projects like steel flyover."
At the time of writing, the BBMP Commissioner, Mayor and Minister George could not be reached for a comment.