The BJP had vehemently opposed the elevated corridor project when it was introduced by the Congress-JD(S) government in 2018.

U-turn by BJP After protesting Bengaluru elevated corridor govt likely to okay project
news Transport Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 17:05

The controversial elevated corridor project in Bengaluru appears to be back. This time BJP MLAs led by Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan met on Wednesday to discuss the issue ahead of the state budget presentation slated to be held on March 5. This move has raised several eyebrows as the BJP had vehemently opposed the elevated corridor project when the Congress-JD(S) coalition, led by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had introduced it in the 2018-19 state budget.

At the time, BJP MP Rajeev Chandrashekar had said, “Our position as the BJP is very clear. Public money cannot be spent on public projects without public involvement and public consultation and against the public interest. There is no justification for pushing such a project through, which is going to be violative of the environment; it is against the principal of natural justice for citizens who oppose it.”

The BJP was also the party, which had strongly opposed the steel flyover proposed by the Siddaramaiah government in 2016. The Yediyurappa government is, however, now gearing up to construct six flyovers cutting across the city.  This even as the party had promised to focus on enhancing public transport in its 2018 manifesto.

“The BJP had opposed elevated corridor and now they are supporting the plan? This is obviously completely against the promises they made before the elections and it goes against their own manifesto. They were supposed to enhance public transport. The suburban rail project has been on the backburner for so long. Why not allocate funds for that?” questioned Tara Krishnaswamy, a member of Citizens for Bengaluru, which had started the Steel Flyover Beda movement.

What is the government proposing?

Officials with thee Karnataka Road Development Corporation, however, said that out of the six elevated corridors, some will have multi-levels to facilitate construction of metro lines above the flyover.

“We are also planning to make certain stretches of phase 1 of the elevated corridor as bus priority lanes,” the official said.

Tara, however, said that the government cannot take such decisions without holding public consultation. “We (members of Citizens for Bengaluru) are planning to meet the Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan in the next couple of days and pose questions about the elevated corridor and also why they are going against their manifesto. Based on the response we will decide whether we have to hold protests against the project,” she added.

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