Online petitions against the contentious elevated corridor project initiated by the Kumaraswamy-led Karnataka government have garnered massive opposition for the project.
The petitions were filed after it emerged that 120 trees in the Cubbon Park area will be cut down to make way for the elevated corridor on Queen's Road. The study conducted by consultants Aecom, Deloitte and Infra Support, accessed by TNM, says that 858 trees in “sensitive wooded stretches” including Cubbon Park and Coles Park, will be cut down for the project. In all, more than 3700 trees are set to be cut down and translocated to build the network of elevated corridors in the city.
However, a section of Resident Welfare Association members met Deputy CM G Parameshwara expressing their support for the project. The residents included people residing in Koramangla, Whitefield, Bellandur, Sarjapur, Cox Town among other areas who pledged their support in favour of an expansion of the road network in the city.
Development and our environment are two sides of the same coin. As our population grows, finding a balance between both is a vital question that our city needs to address today. I urge citizens to not pay heed to rumours.— Dr. G Parameshwara (@DrParameshwara) March 13, 2019
On the other hand, the project has also faced stiff resistance from activists and residents in the city. A massive protest has been planned along the lines of the 2016 steel bridge protest by a group of like-minded civic organisations from across the city at the Gandhi Statue in Maurya Circle on Saturday at 10 am. "The protest against the elevated corridor project is being supported by nearly 35 organisations from across Bengaluru. We stand opposed to the project cutting down more than 3700 trees," says Srinivas Alavilli from Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB).
In October 2016, an 8,000-strong human chain protest was held urging the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government to shelve the steel flyover project. The protest was successful and the project later dropped.
A group of organisations in the city are aiming to repeat the feat this time around by protesting against the proposed elevated corridor project. The organisations involved includes Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB), Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike (BBPV), CIVIC, Cifos, Bengaluru Environment Trust (BET), Environment Support Group (ESG), ESAF, Praja-Raag, Whitefield Rising, Bellandur Jothege, RR Nagar I Care, Malleswaram Swabhimana Initiative, Cubbon Park Walkers Association, Living Lavelle, Vittal Mallya RWA, Kasturba RWA, D'Souza Layout RWA, The Students' Outpost, Citizens Agenda for Bengaluru, Srishti School of Design, Aikyam Community for Sustainable Living, Malleswaram Social, Bengaluru Suburban Rail Users, Coalition for Water Security, Human Rights Empowerment Council of India (HRECI) among others.