Experts decry BDA plan for more steel flyovers

Experts decry BDA plan for more steel flyovers

Even as the plan to construct a 6.9-km-long steel flyover from Chalukya Circle to Hebbal gains momentum, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is pushing for more such flyovers across the City.

Though experts insist the money-guzzling flyovers are a sheer waste of resources, the BDA is carrying out a feasibility study to identify places where they could come up. 

Experts contend that the money meant for these flyovers could be utilised to improve existing infrastructure, such as traffic junctions, signal systems and efficient implementation of the Bengaluru Traffic Improvement Project (B-TRAC). 

BDA officials say, “There are many places where heavy traffic jams are a routine feature. A preliminary study has approved long elevated steel flyovers at Central Silk Board junction, from Cunningham Road to Nagawara and from Cubbon Road to Jayanagar. A detailed feasibility study is on across the City to identify places where flyovers can be constructed.” 

The average cost of a steel flyover is over Rs 1,000 crore, and the feasibility study costs around Rs 2-3 crore. 

Traffic expert and advisor to the government M N Sreehari, said: “Construction of a flyover is just a way of shifting the problem from one junction to another. They are not technically viable solutions. While the US government is planning to dismantle flyovers, we are constructing them.” 

He added: “The main problem is increasing vehicle population. The government should limit vehicle registration. There should be proper connectivity between main and connecting  roads, and roadside parking should be banned. Traffic junctions need to be widened by purchasing corner sites or buildings. Public transport should be improved and money spent on speedy construction and implementation of Metro train services.”

Prof T G Sitharam, Chairman, Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, said: “Isolated flyovers are a problem everywhere. Instead, money should be utilised to improve the north-south corridor, last-mile connectivity of public transport, effective implementation of B-TRAC and infrastructure.    

Pranav Jha, founder of Praja RAAG (Research and Analysis Group), also said flyovers were no solution to the traffic menace, and this had been proved world over. 

The government should instead focus on synchronised signals on main roads. A good road is not judged by vehicle speed but by travel at uniform speed, he said.

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