Bengaluru: It's a big win for Bengaluru citizens as controversial Bengaluru steel flyover project has been cancelled.
"Bengaluru steel flyover won't be constructed, the plan has been cancelled," Bengaluru Development Minister K J George said confirming the decision.
Reportedly, the 6.9-km steel flyover was to connect Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal with an extension on Sankey Road up to LRDE complex.
The project faced severe opposition by the civil society and commuters due its impact on greenery of the city.
Citizens and local activists had argued that steel flyover is not required at the cost of 800-odd trees as the city is known for its trees and greenery.
Karnataka Cabinet had approved the six-lane 6.9-km steel flyover. It was suppossed to pass through Basaveshwara Circle, High Grounds, Windsor Manor, Cauvery junction, Mehkri Circle, Sanjaynagar and connect Hebbal flyover.
The Chennai bench of the National Green Tribunal on October 28, 2016 stayed the 6.9-km project from Chalukya Circle in the city centre to Hebbal junction in the northern suburb, connecting the international airport road at Devanahalli and National Highway 4 towards Hyderabad.
The state-run Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) was the nodal agency for the Rs 1,761-crore project and engineering and construction major L&T was to execute it, as its lowest bidder in a global tender.
The expensive six-lane project, ostensibly meant to ease the gridlock on the busy thoroughfare, faced vehement opposition from civic society and urban experts as it would have resulted in the loss of about 800 trees and their green canopy en-route to the city`s outskirts.
State`s former Additional Chief Secretary V. Balasubramanian and Citizens Action Forum President N.S. Mukunda jointly filed the writ petition before the Tribunal against the BDA from executing the project as it would have caused environmental damage to the garden city.
The Tribunal bench, headed by Justice M. Chokalingam and expert member P.S. Rao, passed an interim order, restraining the state government from going ahead with the project till the petitioners` concerns were heard and addressed.
"Neither the state government nor BDA considered alternative routes, no study was done to confirm if the steel bridge was the best option, no permission was taken to cut 800 trees and no public hearings were conducted before awarding the project to a private firm," claimed the petitioners then.