North B'luru residents oppose scrapping of steel flyover

North B'luru residents oppose scrapping of steel flyover

North B'luru residents oppose scrapping of steel flyover

Three days after the government scrapped the steel flyover project, residents of northern Bengaluru staged a protest, urging the government to implement the project to decongest Ballari Road.

Led by Karnataka Abhivruddi Mattu Anushtana Samiti, nearly 500 people from 20 residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) from areas of northern Bengaluru staged a protest near Esteem Mall, opposing the move to scrap the project.

“It took so many years for the government to finalise a flyover to decongest Ballari Road. We were happy that our long-pending demand was being met. They can’t make a U-turn like this,” said Samuel H, who is part of the group in support of the flyover.

Students, employees from IT sector and homemakers took part in the march, holding placards that read, ‘Connect Bangalore North to Bangalore,’ ‘Steel flyover beku’ and ‘Do not politicise steel bridge’.

B M Devarajappa, president of the Samiti, said the government can change the design to save some of the 812 trees, but can’t abandon the project. “We will plant more than 5,000 saplings to compensate for the trees to be cut down for the project,” he said. The protesters said the daily commute between the city and areas in northern Bengaluru was a harrowing experience as they had to spend at least three hours in traffic. “We just need a flyover, whether concrete or steel. The government will conduct more surveys and take 10 years to come up with a new proposal. People in northern Bengaluru can’t wait that long. The steel flyover has been finalised, we want it to happen soon,” Samuel said.

When asked about alternatives such as suburban rail and Metro, Samuel said such projects take a lot of time.

“Even otherwise, the flyover is necessary. It is part of the comprehensive solution.”
Devarajappa said the RWAs will petition the chief minister, governor and ministers.

“If the government listens to us, we will stand by it. If it ignores us, we will go to court, seeking direction to the government to implement the project,” Devarajappa said.