Govt imposing elevated corridor on city: Experts

Govt imposing elevated corridor on city: Experts

JC Nagar road for Eelvated Corridor stretch from Baptist Hospital to JC Nagar in Bengaluru on Tuesday 5th March 2019. Photo by Janardhan B K

The proposed elevated corridor will be disastrous for the city’s environment while the procedure adopted by the government to push for the project violates the Constitution, experts said on Wednesday.

Former Environment Secretary Yellappa Reddy, chairman of the Bangalore Environment Trust, said the government will do irreparable damage to the city’s crumbling ecosystem if it were to cut down 3,600 trees for the proposed project.

“The government is imposing a project on people without asking them whether they really need it. Finally, it is we the public who have to deal with the ill effects of such unsustainable works,” he said.

Reddy said the government’s job was to conduct wider public consultations and commission studies to find out a solution for traffic congestion.

National Law School of India University professor M K Ramesh said the tender process violates the principles laid down in the 73rd and 74th amendment of the Constitution.

“It is a blunder that the BBMP, the local governing body, has been kept out of the loop. It is not just a procedural error. A statutory body can’t bypass a constitutional body,” he said.

According to Ramesh, contrary to the assumption of the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), officials can’t skip public consultation before going ahead with a project. He cited a 2010 judgment of the Karnataka High Court to state the process was mandatory.

“Also, officials have gone on record stating they have consulted departments and hence there was no need to consult the public. But departments are not stakeholders. How can the government equate itself to stakeholders?” he asked.

Meanwhile, on a sarcastic note, Bengaluru Rural parliamentarian D K Suresh on Wednesday said the government must build an elevated road on Magadi Road instead, which will ensure both Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and PWD minister H D Revanna reach Hassan faster.

Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony to rejuvenate the Thippagondanahalli Reservoir in Ramanagara district, D K Suresh said: “An elevated corridor must be built between Summanahalli Junction and NICE junction (Magadi Road). The CM and the PWD minister perhaps could allocate funds for the project as well. If the corridor is built, Hassan can be reached faster.”

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