Bengaluru activists opposing the 102-km controversial elevated corridor have approached the National Green Tribunal seeking that the Environmental Clearance and halt the mega infrastructure project, which they say will spell doom for the city, be cancelled.
They have also vowed to renew their stir against the government, asking the Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to ‘walk the talk’ on his promise.
Following intense protests, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in March had met some of the activists and had promised widespread public consultation about the project before proceeding further.
Addressing the press, a coalition of 30 Bengaluru based resident-welfare, civic and citizen groups, said, “At the time, the Chief Minister had unequivocally conveyed that the final decision on this project had not yet been made and that the government will consult citizen groups, bus passengers, traffic experts, civil society representatives, residents’ welfare associations and officials, before commencing the project. He also mentioned the timeline and that he would call for public consultations after the Lok Sabha elections.”
“The CM does not seem to be keeping his promise and the government seems to be ploughing ahead with the construction of the elevated corridor in clear violation of various laws,” they added.
The Karnataka High Court had put an interim on the construction of the contentious project, not on the merits of the feasibility of the case but on conditions of its planning and approval as a project.
Although the government has been prohibited on making any final decision on the project, the KRDCL (Karnataka Road Development Corporation), which is the implementing agency, has been assessing tender submissions for the north-south corridor.
“KRDCL is promoting this project despite a high court stay. This is contrary to the stay, it is illegal and they must cease and desist,” they added in a statement.
The developments in this elevated corridor pose a stark similarity to the developments leading to the Siddaramaiah government shelving the controversial steel flyover project. In October 2016, the project was called off at the face of multiple protests and litigations both in the Karnataka High Court and the NGT.