Bengalureans protest against elevated corridor

Bengalureans protest against elevated corridor

The Citizens groups held a protest against Elevated Corridor construction at Maurya Circle in Bengaluru on Saturday. DH photo by SK Dinesh

The city’s citizens on Saturday came together to pressure the state government to scrap the tender for the controversial elevated corridor project. 

The protest received a massive support, with at least 1,500 people participating in the event on Saturday morning at the Maurya Circle behind the Race Course. More than 58 RWA members participated in the demonstration demanding cancellation of the tenders for the controversial project under the hashtag #TenderRadduMaadi (Cancel the Tender).

“The state government should at least now wake up to the reality and cancel the project which is unscientific and a threat to hundreds of fully-grown trees in the city’s green heart,” said a member from Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB), which is coordinating the protest.

Kids, youngsters, senior citizens from all walks of life have extended their support. A series of demands were presented and approved by the gathering. According to the activists, the demands will be presented to the government.

“The demands include doubling the bus fleet, reducing the bus fares, introducing bus lanes on ORR and other arterial roads, improving connectivity and access of bus services, fast-tracking completion of Metro and suburban rail, making the city safe for cycling and walking and introducing high parking fees and congestion taxes to discourage private vehicles,” said Vinay Sreenivasa, advocate and activist.

CfB’s Srinivas Alavilli said, “There was no public consultation. The elevated corridor is a terrible idea and not the right solution for Bengaluru. We must focus on the suburban train, bus, bicycles, and footpath without any other distractions”.

CM responds

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy tweeted in response to the protest on Sunday afternoon. “One of the biggest hurdles in Bengaluru’s progress is traffic congestion.The #elevatedcorridor project is the solution to this. Some citizengroups r protesting agnst the project. My request to all is to come to me&raise their concerns. I will listen with an open mind to ur feedback,”(sic), he said.

“The campaign was happy to note that the Chief Minister has responded to the protest on Twitter. While the campaign is happy to meet the Chief Minister to discuss, the organizers emphasized the need to follow the constitutionally and legally mandated due process for city planning such as Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act should be followed before taking up such projects,” said, Srinivas Alavilli while reacting to the H D Kumaraswamy tweet.