DyCM, senior officials to travel to Singapore to review tunnel roads

The proposal to construct tunnel roads in Bengaluru has been a topic of discussion in various meetings chaired by Shivakumar
Last Updated : 22 June 2023, 21:22 IST

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Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar is planning to visit Singapore with a team of senior officials to gain first-hand experience of tunnel roads.

His visit reflects the state government's keen interest in constructing underground roads to alleviate Bengaluru's notorious traffic congestion. However, the proposal is expected to face strong opposition from advocates of public transport.

The visit to Singapore is likely to be scheduled either before the budget session, which concludes on July 14, or immediately after. The Deputy Chief Minister's itinerary may also include a brief visit to Chennai to gain insights into its solid waste management system.

The proposal to construct tunnel roads in Bengaluru has been a topic of discussion in various meetings chaired by Shivakumar, who holds the Bengaluru Development portfolio. In addition to discussing the plan with BBMP officers, the idea was also raised during a meeting with industry leaders last week, which was attended by the Deputy Chief Minister.

Urban expert R K Mishra, who participated in the meeting, highlighted that several international cities have already implemented tunnel road systems.

“Tokyo has an underground expressway that passes under the palace. Boston is famous for tunnel roads. I, however, do not subscribe to long tunnel roads for Bengaluru, but they are needed across major junctions such as KR Puram, Silk Board and Hebbal. With new technology, tunnel roads can be built quickly. It also causes no environmental destruction,” he said.

During Shivakumar's inspection of the city roads, he engaged in discussions regarding the construction of a short tunnel road near KR Puram. The objective is to facilitate smooth commute between Outer Ring Road, Hosakote, and Mahadevapura. Senior officials also proposed a similar intervention at Hebbal to provide hassle-free commute to airport-bound traffic.

A section of the citizens believes that tunnel roads are simply a wishlist item driven by the contractor-broker nexus deeply ingrained in the city's political economy.

"Irrespective of which government comes to power, they consistently resurrect the same infamous list of projects (tunnel roads, steel bridges, flyovers, and elevated corridors), regardless of how frequently they have been dismissed," said Sandeep Anirudhan, convener, Citizens' Agenda for Bengaluru. "Given a chance, these elite cabal might even ask for an exclusive suspended city in the sky just for themselves and their cars."

Published 22 June 2023, 16:51 IST

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