The controversial steel flyover project had united Bengaluru’s citizen activists, who began the Steel Flyover Beda Movement. The citizenry also signed up to face a lengthy legal battle with the National Green Tribunal.
The city’s citizen activists rejoiced when Bangalore Development Minister, KJ George, announced on Thursday that the steel flyover project has been scrapped and that the decision would be formally made during the next cabinet meeting.
Their moment of victory, however, may be short lived. Only the current tender for the steel flyover has been cancelled, not the entire project. It has only ‘temporarily been shelved’.
Currently, L&T’s tender has been cancelled and the project has only been put on hold as per the information we have received. The project will commence but not in the near future. That remains to be decided,” a senior official with the Bengaluru Development Authority told TNM, while adding that BDA is free to issue a fresh notice for tenders.
Sources in the Congress confirmed the BDA’s statement and said that the project would be revived if the party is elected back to power in 2018.
“The steel flyover is necessary for traffic de-congestion. For pedestrian safety, around 100 skywalks are being planned across the city. Also, this is not the only big project. Bengaluru’s traffic issue can be solved only if elevated corridors are built. The steel flyover is only a part of it,” the source said.
Activists, however, said that they were not at all shocked by BDA’s approach. Prakash Belawadi, who has been associated with Citizens Against Steel Flyover group said that BDA is responsible for the worsening condition of the city’s environment.
“We don’t trust the BDA one bit and I am not surprised about the turn of events. The case will still be fought at the NGT. Even if the tribunal orders are in favour of the flyover, we will file an appeal and continue to fight,” Belawadi added.