Steel flyover will choke even if built today: IISc prof

Steel flyover will choke even if built today: IISc prof

Study suggests to adopt sustainable modes like public transport, walking, bicycling

The six-lane steel flyover would be saturated even if it was ready by now, according to the original deadline of 2018 for the project. Instead, the government should build a metro line that can serve until 2049, an IISc study shows.

Interestingly, IISc professor Ashish Verma uses the traffic volume data from the detailed report (DPR) prepared by the government-appointed agency, to show how the traffic volume to capacity (available road space) would go beyond the saturation level for the present traffic as well.

The DPR puts the average vehicle growth rate at 4.75% for the steel flyover, which is much below the 10.6% growth in airline passenger traffic at the Kempegowda International Airport seen in the past nine years.

However, the analysis shows that the steel flyover’s volume to capacity would be 1.4 instead of the ideal ratio of 0.7. Hence, the six-lane road cannot serve even today’s traffic, let alone the next five years when the vehicle numbers are likely to cross 1 crore.

In stark contrast, a metro line with a narrow viaduct to hold a track on each direction would be able to carry 69,000 people per hour. Even if all of the passengers on the stretch switchover to the metro, the capacity will not go beyond 0.99 till 2057.

Besides felling over 800 trees, the vehicles on flyover will only add to air pollution in the city. “For a city which hosted the C40 conference last year, Bengaluru should be aware of the impact of its projects,” Verma noted.

He said building a flyover has become a populist measure in the sense that it caters to the people’s aspiration to own a vehicle.

“However, at what cost? When the entire world and even India is trying to reduce our dependence on oil, is it not wise to look at sustainable solutions like metro instead of harping on projects that will make the city unlivable for future generations,” he said.

The study also warned that the steel flyover would feed into the ‘vicious circle of congestion’, as the new road will lead to more cars with the traffic jams forcing governments to come up with more and more number of flyovers.

“It is well known now that 40% to 50% of the carbon emission in the global cities comes from vehicles. Instead of investing in flyovers, the government should adopt sustainable modes like public transport, walking, bicycling,” Verma noted, adding that people will not take to them unless they are attractive.