Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday agreed to hold a public consultation on the elevated corridor and mobility issues.
Kumaraswamy said this after meeting around 10 people, collectively representing 60 organisations, on Tuesday.
The meeting was held after over 1,000 people staged a protest on Saturday against the elevated corridor demanding #TenderRadduMaadi.
Interestingly, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) had called up select citizens on Monday night and arranged for a meeting. Reacting to the protest, Kumaraswamy had tweeted on Saturday that he was keen on holding a meeting with citizens and hear them out.
Prakash Belawadi, noted theatre personality and one of the representatives who met CM, said: “The CM told us that he would like to have a wide open consultation. This implies that he will take all views on board, which could be Yes, No or May Be to the project. What we took from the meeting was that CM was not the one pushing for or against it. He is also interested in the development of Bengaluru and that something needs to be done. He is willing to listen and wants the best solution.”
On the issue of tenders, Belawadi said the CM asked them not to worry. “The tender has to come before me. Why are you worried? We will hold a discussion. But right now there is a model code of conduct and I am very busy,” Belawadi said quoting the CM.
Srinivas Alavilli, from the Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB), said this was the first such meeting with the CM on the elevated corridor. A meeting was held with Deputy CM G Parameshwara in 2018, but still tenders were called without any public consultation.
“The CM said that since elections are on, a meeting will be held after they are over. So we interpret that the project is on hold. This is a victory for citizens that the government has agreed to take the opinion of people,” he said.
Kumaraswamy also received the mobility report on elevated corridor prepared by Prof Ashish Verma, from Transportation Systems Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, IISc. Kumaraswamy listened to the report findings and took the report to study it in detail.
'Forget about it'
Opposing the project, citizens' group had demanded the government to cancel the tenders floated a fortnight ago. In fact, their fight on online platforms was bunched under the hashtag #TenderRadduMaadi.
The activists, who met the CM on Tuesday afternoon, also requested him to cancel the tenders when he assured them that he would hold a public consultation after the polls.
However, the very subject of cancellation of tenders reportedly took the CM by surprise. According to an official who was present in the meeting, the CM was visibly upset on hearing the demand for cancellation of tenders.
Refusing to exhibit his displeasure, the CM reportedly asked the activists to not worry about the tender as it would have to come to him for signature. "Forget about it. It will eventually come to me for signature," the CM reportedly said.