The Karnataka government claims that the newly proposed steel flyover would change ‘Bengaluru into Singapore’, but citizen activists won’t have any of that, definitely, not at the cost of 800 trees.
What is expected to be one of the longest six-lane steel flyovers in Asia, will cost about Rs 1800 crore, according to the government’s current estimate.
After TB Jayachandra announced that L&T was awarded the contract for constructing the flyover, many activists have urged the company to drop the project.
- Citizen Against Steel Flyover (CASFo), a group of various citizen organisations and individuals in Bengaluru, has planned a massive human chain on October 16 to assert their disapproval for the steel flyover project.
CASFo consists of members of Bengaluru Political Action Committee, Azim Premji Foundation, Lok Satta party and Namma Bengaluru Foundation.
The Citizens Against Steel Flyover campaign includes actor Prakash Belawadi, architect Naresh Narasimhan, CXO search consultant Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, Namma Bengaluru Foundation CEO Sridhar Pabisetty and Praja member Muralidhar Rao and Bus Passenger Forum.
CASFo also started a Call Your MLA campaign. A group of 30-35 volunteers contacted every MLA in the city to ask them their opinion on the flyover.
- Some citizens including Prakash Belawadi, NR Narayana Murthy, Azim Premji, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Mohandas Pai, BS Patil and Vivek Menon have sent an open letter to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George, in which they have pointed out several issues.
- A missed call campaign against the felling of the city’s trees for infrastructural development was started by Jhatkaa.org on September 21. Anyone can participate by giving a missed call to 08033013169.
- Leaders of opposition including state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa and JD(S) leader HD have asked the government to reconsider its decision.
- Loksatta party Srinivas Alavalli earlier in October launched a Twitter campaign #NoSteelFlyover.
- Independent filmmaker Anirudh Acharya is planning to make a film which will get several people in the arts and culture space to talk about their concerns over the project.
Citizen action groups
- Members of Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) headed by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar filed a PIL in the Karnataka High Court challenging the project.
- NBF also filed a writ petition alleging that critical information about the flyover such as a detailed project report (DPR), feasibility report and details regarding financing for the project have not been made available for public scrutiny. Though the HC did not stay the project, it recorded that the project would depend on the result of the writ petition filed by the foundation. They had earlier started an online campaign in July asking for transparency in the project, which got over 1500 signatures in a week.