Decongesting Hudson Circle

Steel flyover height raised to steer clear of Town Hall, other heritage structures

Decongesting Hudson Circle

Trapped in a controversial tangle for four years, the mega steel flyover project proposed from the city’s Minerva Circle to Hudson Circle raised fears that it would weaken heritage structures enroute.

But a redesign that has the flyover climb to a whopping height of 13.5 metres to vertically steer clear of the 76-year-old Town Hall, has now got it the BBMP Council’s nod. The State Cabinet clearance could just be round the corner. 

Here’s why: The project has already been approved for funding under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) by the Mission’s State Level Steering Committee (SLSC) chaired by the Chief Minister. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been forwarded to the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC), New Delhi. With the BBMP Standing Committee (Major Works) giving its green signal last week, the State government’s administrative approval could just be a formality, Palike sources told Deccan Herald.

At least on paper, the project promises to decongest Hudson Circle -- arguably, one of the city’s busiest traffic junctions -- by almost 90 per cent. But the flyover, to be built entirely of prefabricated structural steel, will be open only for Light Motor Vehicles. There will be no entry for buses due to the multiplicity of bus stops on the way. To be built at a cost of Rs. 134.89 crore, the flyover with 7.5 metre carriageways on either side, will link Minerva Circle to Kasturba road (2.25 km), Minerva Circle to Kempegowda road (2 km) and RV Road to Nrupatunga road, completely bypassing the busy Hudson Circle.

 Currently, Hudson Circle handles massive traffic volumes, particularly during the peak hours. It couldn’t be otherwise, since it links KG Road, Nrupatunga Road, Kasturba Road, Pallavi theatre Road, Devanga Hostel Road and NR Square. The flyover, asserts the Palike, could also take a huge vehicular load off the five-armed Minerva Circle, where traffic from Basavanagudi, Jayanagar and JP Nagar gets onto JC Road, KR Market and RV Road directions. 

Heritage concerns

The project had run into rough weather right after the Detailed Project Report (DPR) was prepared in 2009 and the Palike’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) approved it the same year. The design and structural aspects of the steel flyover was deemed hazardous for heritage structures in the vicinity by a State-level high-power committee. Besides Town Hall, the Ravindra Kalakshetra and the Palike head office buildings figured among these structures.  

These concerns held up the project for two and half years, before the TAC was asked to look for alternate routes. However, as Palike sources explained, the routes proposed through Kumbargundi road, Devanga Hostel road, Krumbigal and Lalbagh main roads worked out to be 2.5 times more costly than the original alignment. 

Eventually, at its 67th meeting on August 30 this year, TAC decided to go ahead with the route as planned before.

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