In another victory for Bengaluru residents opposing the proposed controversial steel flyover between Hebbal and Chalukya Circle, the Karnataka government told the High Court on Monday that it has shelved the project.
The Karnataka High Court was hearing a plea by Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) which had asked that the project be scrapped on grounds that it was not sanctioned through the mandatory procedures. During the previous hearing, the government counsel had also confirmed that the government had not asked for environmental clearance.
This project was proposed by Bangalore Vision Group, which the HC deemed as an extra-constitutional body and scrapped it. Following this, the NBF had insisted that the project be approved through the constitutionally mandated Metropolitan Planning Committee. NBF had approached the court after the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) allegedly did not answer their Right to Information applications on the project.
Big victory to the unrelenting legal battle of NBF & citizens' fight against #SteelFlyover project.— NBF (@Namma_Bengaluru) June 18, 2019
After denying several RTI applications & bypassing the constitutionally mandated BMPC the GoK has dropped the project & submitted it's proceedings to Hon'ble HC in today's hearing pic.twitter.com/lY5EQ4FvMx
Proposed to be built at the cost of Rs 1,791-crore, the 6.7 km long flyover was to be constructed to improve connectivity to the Bengaluru International Airport.
From the time the proposal to build the flyover was announced, residents have been staging protests. In February 2016, 8,000 people had formed a human chain along the route of the proposed flyover from Chalukya Circle to Esteem Mall in protest. Those opposed to the project had argued that the elevated corridor would be futile and will not solve Bengaluru’s never-ending traffic problem.
A study by urban mobility expert and IISc professor Ashish Verma has predicted that at the current rate of private vehicle ownership, the steel flyover would likely end up getting congested on the first day itself. Moreover, 2,000 trees were planned to be axed to make space for the project, this at a time when the green cover of the once called Garden City is already fading.
In the face of the protests, the controversial project was scrapped by the Siddamramaiah government in March 2017. It had become a non-issue until it was reintroduced in January 2019 by Deputy CM G Parameshwara, who holds the Bengaluru Development portfolio.