No toll for elevated corridor, project start in Jan

No toll for elevated corridor, project start in Jan

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy clarified that citizens will not have to pay a toll to use the elevated corridors once they are ready.

Work on the ambitious east-west-north-south elevated corridor project in Bengaluru, which is pegged to cost Rs 25,495 crore and will claim over 3,700 trees, will start January next year, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy announced on Thursday.

Citizens will not have to pay a toll to use the elevated corridors once they are ready, Kumaraswamy clarified.

The elevated corridors will be designed for vehicles to move at 50-80 kmph promising a 45-minute ride anywhere in the city.

A preliminary detailed project report prepared by the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL) was presented to Kumaraswamy, who reviewed it along with Public Works Minister H D Revanna, Forest Minister R Shankar and other top officials.

“We want to finish the project by 2021,” Kumaraswamy said. “The project will help decongest Bengaluru, cut carbon emissions and reduce congestion cost. Those opposing the project, I appeal to them...the doors of Vidhana Soudha are always open. They can meet me or the chief secretary,” he added.

The project will be interlinked with the Metro wherever possible. “Our engineers will work it out such that users of the elevated corridor will be able to easily access Metro services,” Kumaraswamy said.

The project will require the acquisition of 90.11 acres of land, including St John’s Medical College playground, Banaswadi lake land, a part of Coles Park and so on.

“To make sure public properties are unaffected, some corridors will have four lanes instead of six,” Kumaraswamy said.

The 102-km network of elevated corridors will connect Hebbal with Central Silk Board (North-South corridor 1), Krishnarajapuram with Goraguntepalya (East-West corridor 1), Varthur Kodi with Mysuru Road (East-West corridor-2), St John’s Hospital Junction to Agara (connecting corridor 1), Halasuru with D’Souza Circle (connecting corridor 2), Wheeler’s Road junction with Kalyan Nagar (connecting corridor-3) and an additional corridor connecting Ramamurthy Nagar to ITPL.

Trees along Mehkri Circle-Jayamahal Road, Minsk Square-MG Road, Vittal Mallya Road, IISc, Yeshwantpur Circle, Old Airport Road and Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road — totally 3,716 trees — will be impacted because of the project. “Wherever possible, trees will be translocated to Cubbon Park, Lalbagh or Kempegowda Layout where we have 100 acres of space,” the chief minister said.

Asked about the controversy surrounding the steel flyover project that the previous Congress government had to scrap, Kumaraswamy said: “I’ve told officials that the project shouldn’t run into legal hurdles. There has to be complete transparency.”