Bengaluru's controversial steel flyover put on hold by NGT
Thousands of Bangaloreans have openly protested against the controversial flyover.
Chennai: In a major setback to the Karnataka government, the National Green Tribunal, Friday, put on hold the proposed construction of a steel flyover that links Basaveshwara Circle to Esteem Mall.
Staying the project for four weeks, the green tribunal said the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had not sought Tribunal's clearance to cut 812 trees, a mandatory requirement for the work to commence on the ground.
The state government had planned to begin work on the link from November 1.
Reacting to the NGT order, Bengaluru Development and Town Planning Minister KJ George told a news channel: “We respect the court verdict and we will submit all details. We are confident that we will get clearance.”
The 6.7 km steel flyover had become a prestige issue for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
"The steel flyover project has been totally transparent, as its details were put up on the website of the BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) and 73 percent of the people have favoured the bridge," Siddaramaiah had said.
However, thousands of Bangaloreans have openly protesting against the flyover - about 8,000 Bengalureans even staged human chain to protest the proposed flyover for a signal-free ride to the airport on the city's northern outskirts.
The protesters included including prominent personalities like actor and film maker Prakash Belawadi and BJP MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar.
Flaying the project, Belawadi said the forum wants the project to be shelved as it was sanctioned without public consultation.
"We want the project to be shelved as it was sanctioned without public consultation, that is a very arrogant attitude as our questions are unanswered," he said.
He alleged that the government had bypassed Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Committee in sanctioning the project.
He also said the Bangalore Vision Group had not spoken in favour of it as they were doubtful about it's feasibility.
"The project cost is too high," he said.
Belawadi also alleged that government was misusing tax payers' money to build the flyover when citizens have several modes of transport, including a railway station at Devanahalli.
The flyover was not a part of the master plan as well,he said.
JDS State President H D Kumaraswamy alleged that the project was being used to raise party funds for next year's Uttar Pradesh assembly election.