HC asks for safety certificate for Sivananda steel bridge

HC asks for safety certificate for Sivananda steel bridge

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday asked the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to produce a certification of safety from the authorities concerned for the construction of the steel bridge at Sivananda Circle.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice H G Ramesh and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar was hearing a PIL filed by B P Mahesh and 19 citizens residing near the Sivananda Circle.

The Palike counsel submitted that the flyover will be constructed with a vertical clearance of 4.5 meters as against the 5.5 meters as suggested by the Indian Road Congress (IRC) guidelines. The vertical clearance of 4.5 meters is to ensure the safety of the bridge.

The counsel submitted that if the steel bridge is made at a vertical clearance of 5.5 meters, the bridge will become steep. This will lead to increased traffic congestion at the end of the bridge leading to the railway underpass.

The bench also asked if the safety of the public is compromised with the construction of the flyover which is not in accordance with the IRC guidelines.

The counsel also submitted that if there was a possibility to increase the vertical clearance, they would do so in the interest of the public. However, it is technically not possible to have a vertical clearance of 5.5 meters as suggested by the IRC with the existing conditions.

The BBMP counsel also submitted that a team of construction engineers and IISC professor Srinivasa Murthy had examined and approved the bridge's design.

The bench also suggested that with one of the fastest growing cities in the world like Bengaluru, the plan has to be a long term plan.

The matter was adjourned to Wednesday.

Reacting to the HC's direction, Srinivas Alavilli of Citizens for Bengaluru said: "We are happy that the high court asked the right questions, including about the viability of the project. Our request is to stay the project and we demand that a public consultation be held."

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