What is common between chief minister Siddaramaiah’s budget and the Bengaluru civic corporation’s budget?
Both of them show a vigour to pursue elevated road projects for Bengaluru, a city struggling to manage its nightmarish traffic. Well, almost as if it is the single, sure-shot solution to this ever growing problem. A number of projects, some new and some old, have been announced.
One of them is estimated to cost a whopping Rs 18,000 crore: a 100-km road-on-road elevated corridor covering Silk Board to Hebbal, KR Puram to Tumakuru Road and Varthur to Mysuru Road. Another one is a flyover from Pipeline Road to Ring Road through Kurubarahalli, for which BBMP has earmarked Rs50 crore.
Then there are older plans such as the steel bridge from Minerva Circle to Town Hall at a cost of Rs 134 crore and a similar one at Shivananda Circle that is estimated to cost Rs 46.7 crore.
The cost of grade separators at Suranjan Das Road, Old Madras Road, Sarjapura-Haralur junction, Hulimavu junction, Arakere junction, Sony World junction and a flyover from Cox Town to Banaswadi -which have all been announced with much fanfare -is yet to be determined.
Meanwhile, Sathya Sankaran, a founding member of civic group Praja RAAG, has floated a petition on Change.org, urging the government to drop elevated roads or flyover projects and focus instead on ramping up public transport. With over 200 signatures so far, the petition has sparked off a debate among experts on whether flyovers could mean a boon or simply end up being irrevocable mistakes. ET gets two experts to join the debate.