HDK defends elevated corridor, assures life for PRR

Decongesting roads: CM believes projects will ease traffic

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday strongly defended the controversial 102-km-long elevated corridor project for Bengaluru but promised to hold wide consultations with all stakeholders in a month. 

Kumaraswamy is keen on implementing the mammoth project, which he believes is the solution to the city’s traffic problems. The project was announced in the 2018-19 budget in July. 

“If the elevated corridor is completed, people can save Rs 9,000 crore that they currently incur towards fuel, pollution and other costs. But a section of society doesn’t want this project. I’m ready to discuss (it). In another month or so, I will prepare everything and meet all the stakeholders, including experts,” Kumaraswamy told reporters. 

The network of six elevated corridors is estimated to cost Rs 19,265 crore (excluding the land acquisition) while it is estimated to affect about 3,800 trees in the city. 

Peripheral Ring Road

This apart, the government will pump in Rs 6,500 crore over the next three years to breathe life into the long-pending Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project, Kumaraswamy said. “This year, the requirement (for the project) is Rs 2,000 crore, which I have set aside from the budget. Next year, the estimate is Rs 4,500 crore,” he added. 

The Cabinet will soon approve the plan to build an elevated PRR with dedicated space for a metro lane, he said. “I was the chief minister 12 years ago when work on the PRR was taken up. We had started the land acquisition process, but since then nothing has been done and the project cost has gone up 4-5 times. Now, the design for a 60-metre-wide road is ready. In a month’s time, the tender notification will be issued,” he added.

Coordination group

With the high court repeatedly censuring the BBMP, the chief minister said he would form a group comprising all parastatal city agencies to ensure they work in coordination. “I’m watching the high court issuing directions on certain lapses of the government. Agencies have to coordinate and every department should come under one umbrella. So, I’m forming a group,” he said. It may be noted that a coordination committee under the chief secretary already exists to deal with Bengaluru issues. 

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HDK defends elevated corridor, assures life for PRR

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