Cash-strapped BDA may toll steel flyover

After facing technical and design hurdles, the proposed steel flyover is now facing financial hurdles. So much so it could trickle down to commuters.

For, the government is considering making the stretch of the flyover from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal a tolled road. This means those going from south Bengaluru will have to pay more for using the 6.9-km steel flyover in addition to the toll on the national highway.

A senior official in the Urban Development department told Deccan Herald that Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) was finding it difficult to finance the project on its own. “The government is now exploring various options to raise funds, including imposing toll. The toll proposal is still in the preliminary stage. The Cabinet will decide on this,” the official said. 

The estimated cost of the steel flyover is Rs 1,300 crore. The Centre had earlier promised to fund the project, but the NDA dispensation has now refused to sanction funds.

If the flyover has to be tolled, then the government will have to amend the BDA Act and the Karnataka Municipal Council Act, as roads within the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike limits cannot be tolled. This will also be the first time where a road in the city will be tolled. Toll is normally levied on roads connecting other cities or are maintained by private organisations like Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises, which introduced the first tolled road in Bengaluru from Tumakuru Road to Electronic City.

BDA Commissioner T Sham Bhat said it was the government’s decision and not decided by the board. “It is still in the discussion stage; the road could be tolled. It is done in other cities and countries and can be done here, too. It’s new, but not unusual,” he said.

A model of the whole project, including toll, has to be prepared and submitted to the chief secretary and the chief minister and other ministers. Based on the outcome of the meeting, the next course of action will be decided. It will take another 15-20 days to get some clarity, he said. 

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