BBMP tweaks design of Shivananda flyover

Days before unveiling, BBMP tweaks design of Shivananda flyover

The design change has been made to bypass the land acquisition process since the BBMP was unable to finalise the agreement with the property owners

A file photo of the work on the flyover at Shivananda Circle. Credit: DH Photo/S K Dinesh

Days before the inauguration, the famed steel flyover at Shivananda Circle has run into trouble with the BBMP controversially deciding to rejig the design.

The design change has been made to bypass the land acquisition process since the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) was unable to finalise the agreement with the property owners.

"Owners are refusing to part with their land. It was also a huge financial burden on the BBMP to pay Rs 40 crore on land acquisition alone. Hence, the decision to tweak the design slightly," explained an engineer who is part of the construction team, requesting anonymity.

The civic body has reduced the length of the down ramp (towards railway parallel road) by 30 metres.

"If we don’t acquire the properties and widen the road at the ramp’s end, it will turn out to be a bottleneck. Hence, we have decided to withdraw the ramp by a few metres," another BBMP official clarified.

This apart, the BBMP has also decided to cut down the footpath along the service road. "The footpath will be reduced by half a metre," the engineer explained.

Within guidelines

Justifying the correction, officials claimed that the changes are in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Indian Road Congress (IRC).

BBMP sources told DH that multiple negotiations were held with property owners. However, none were fruitful.

"Had we proceeded with the property owners' demands, we would have paid Rs 40 crore and if we were to initiate mandatory land acquisition, the legal process will take a minimum of two years,” another BBMP official working on the project told DH.

Inauguration soon

Free from land acquisition hurdles, the BBMP is now gearing up to complete the project in a few days’ time. "We just have to finish the down ramp and work on a few final segments. Machinery, plants and men are all set. We are waiting for better weather conditions and are hopeful of opening the flyover for traffic by this month-end,” a senior BBMP official said.

The controversial project has missed several deadlines, the last of which was set in August. Officials part of the project attributed the delay to the maze of water and sewage pipes.

“Shifting utilities was a major problem,” said a senior BBMP engineer. “A number of water and sewage lines we were not informed about (earlier) were discovered only during excavation. BWSSB officials were also unaware of the old connections in the locality and hence, the project was delayed.”

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