Bengaluru: A group of citizens today staged a demonstration here demanding that government come out with an alternative plan to decongest the road that connects the city with its international airport and surrounding areas, following its decision to scrap a steel flyover project. Holding placards, the group, claiming to be residents of northern part of the city, along which the road connecting the airport passes through, said they were not adamant about the steel flyover, but want some alternative arrangements to be made to ease the traffic. Some of them criticised those opposed to the steel flyover project, accusing them of being anti-development and of showing fake environmental concern, as there was plan in place for mass planting of trees.
“We are not adamant that we want only steel bridge, a cement bridge, elevated highway or a metro is also fine, we want something to be done to decongest traffic on this road and to reduce time taken to commute along this stretch,” a resident of Yelahanka said. “All of a sudden the steel bridge project has been called of without any alternative plan..come out with an alternative, there is nothing planned to substitute it. Look at the traffic on this road,” another citizen said.
The Karnataka government on Thursday had announced its decision to scrap the controversial steel flyover project following allegations of kickback of crores of rupees. The Rs 1,800-crore project had been facing stiff opposition from citizen groups over environmental concerns and doubts over its sustainability model. Questions were also raised regarding escalation in its cost. An estimated 812 trees would have had to be felled for the project that was stayed by the National Green Tribunal last year.
Recent allegations of crores of rupees received as kickback in connection with the project, allegedly mentioned in diary entries of Congress MLC Govindaraju, had also marred the project.
Govindaraju’s alleged diary entries, reportedly consisting of information relating to payoffs made by state Congress leaders to the party’s central leaders, have kicked up a political storm in the state.