In October 2016, a massive human chain protest along the then proposed steel bridge in Bengaluru connecting Chalukya Circle to Esteem Mall in Hebbal had sent a strong message to the state government. Little more than five months later, on March 2, 2017, the then-Siddaramaiah government had shelved the project.
A similar protest organised by citizen groups is set to take place on Saturday asking for the cancellation of the tender for the controversial elevated corridor project, issued by the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited earlier this month. At 10am, the protestors will gather at Maurya Circle at the city centre.
The activists are running an online campaign with #TenderRadduMaadi which translates to â€ścancel the tenderâ€ť.
Renowned film and theatre personality, Prakash Belwadi said, â€śFrom erstwhile PM Deve Gowda to CM Kumaraswamy to KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao to the ex-CM Siddaramaiah, every one has decried the project in the past. They should stay true to their conscience and withdraw this anti-people project. Join us on Saturday to convey our opinion to the decision makers.â€ť
The organisations to take part on Saturday's protest include 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.
Representatives of some of the organisations addressed the media on Thursday asking people to come out for Saturdayâ€™s protest.
Tejaswini from The Student Outpost, a pan-city organisation of college students, said, â€śWe students widely use public transport and need more open green spaces. The government must dis-incentivise use of private vehicles for mobility and exhaust alternative systems before implementing the Elevated Corridor Project. We urge for social and ecological inclusiveness in development of urban infrastructure to preserve tree cover, strengthen public transport system and provide cycle lanesâ€ť
An online petition opposing the same project has got the support of more than 1.5 lakh people within a day.
The project, according to the Environmental Impact Assessment report prepared by a government body along with private consultants, has said that 3009 trees will be cut to make way for the project.
The Karnataka High Court meanwhile, has asked the state government not to go ahead with the project until it decides on a case pertaining to the Bangalore Metropolitan Committee.