Defending the state government’s decision to go ahead with the infrastructure project, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said construction of the 6.7 km steel flyover in the city would soon begin, as it had public support.
“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 per cent of the people have favoured the bridge,” claimed Siddaramaiah after inspecting the thoroughfare over which the steel flyover has been planned.
Accompanied by Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George, the party’s lawmakers from the city and officials, Siddaramaiah also inspected alternative routes to the airport at Devanahalli.
“We will also develop three alternative routes to the airport to decongest the roads choked with heavy vehicular traffic towards Devanahalli,” asserted Siddaramaiah.
Recalling that the steel bridge was proposed in 2010 when the BJP was in power in the state, the Chief Minister said the project was announced in the state budget for fiscal 2014-15.
“The project cost had to be revised as its estimate was made two years ago on schedule rates of 2014-15. We re-negotiated with its developer (L&T) and reduced it to Rs 1,791 crore from Rs 1,800 crore,” pointed out Siddaramaiah.
About 5,000 Bengalureans on Sunday staged human chain to protest the proposed 6.7-km steel flyover for a signal-free ride to the airport on the city’s northern outskirts.
Unfazed by the protests and ignoring the advice of urban experts, the state cabinet on September 28 awarded the project to L&T Ltd as the lowest bidder for the tender to build the steel bridge from Chalukya circle to Hebbal circle, which connects the airport road and the busy National Highway number 7 towards Hyderabad.
Though the country’s third busiest airport is located about 40 km from the city, the stretch of the main road where the flyover has been planned is bedevilled with heavy vehicular traffic as it connects the city’s south, east and west suburbs.