New skywalk at NR Square likely to be shifted

New skywalk at NR Square likely to be shifted

Even as the skywalk at NR Square near BBMP head office is yet to be thrown open for public, it is likely that the facility would be shifted to some other place if the state government clears the proposal to constr-uct a steel flyover from Minerva Circle to Hudson Circle.

Palike sources said Pioneer Publicity Corporation Limited is constructing the skywalk on Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis. It will own the skywalk on lease for 20 years and pay Rs 16 lakh as annual licence fee and ground rent to the BBMP for utilising its land for building the facility.

The skywalk near the BBMP head office was much needed for pedestrian safety given the high traffic density there. However, Palike officials are apprehensive that it would obstruct the proposed steel flyover from Minerva Circle to Hudson Circle.

The BBMP Council had passed a resolution in May 2016 to build the four-lane steel flyover. Since there was lukewarm response for the tender, the Palike decided to assign the work to Bridge and Roof Limited (B&R), a Government of India enterprise. The 2.35-km flyover is estimated to cost Rs 135 crore.

“If the project gets government approval, we may have to shift the skywalk to some other place. Shifting is not a problem. All that we will lose in shifting is some nuts and bolts,” said M R Venkatesh, engineer-in-chief of BBMP.

Former mayor B S Sathyanarayana said that the Palike should not have constructed the skywalk despite knowing that it would obstruct the proposed steel flyover. He also criticised the decision to allow advertisement at the main entrance to the central business district.

“Mere skywalk would have been okay but an advertisement atop it will look ugly. It will mar the beauty of buildings such as Town Hall, grand BBMP head office, LIC building, Canara Bank building, Unity building and Hudson Church,’’ he said.

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