Three-fold rise in cost of Sivananda Circle flyover, 34 trees to be cut

Last Updated 19 January 2021, 21:06 IST

The controversial flyover at Sivananda Circle has not only become costlier but will also result in the felling of 34 trees in the heart of Bengaluru.

When tenders for the project were called in March 2016, the flyover cost was estimated at Rs 14.48 crore. Nearly five years later, the cost has gone up three-fold. The civil work alone will cost Rs 39 crore while the cost of land acquisition and construction of the railway bridge has been estimated at Rs 21 crore.

But that isn’t the only pain point for a project that has been opposed by local residents and traders and faced legal battles. The project will also result in the felling of 34 trees.

By an order, the forest wing of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBBP) has approved the felling of 34 trees: 22 trees will be cut down while the remaining will be transplanted.

“As per the report by the tree expert committee, order has been issued for felling and transplantation of the trees,” the order said, noting that for every tree cut, three salings shall be planted and maintained along with the trees that are transplanted for three years.

Nine mahagony trees, two jackfruit trees and one cluster fig (attimara) have been identified for transplantation. Many of those marked for felling are gulmohar and portia trees.

Cost escalation

The initial cost (Rs 14.48 crore) was estimated in March 2016 when the BBMP had called the tenders. However, by the time the work order was awarded in October 2017, the cost went up to Rs 22.89 crore.

A BBMP official said that as per the latest estimate, the flyover would cost Rs 39.5 crore. The main reason for the cost escalation is the litigation in the high court and the order for the revision of the project as per the Indian Road Congress (IRC) guidelines. Preliminary work had begun in January 2018 but the BBMP got the final clearance only in June 2020, the official said.

The cost of acquiring about 700 square metres of land needed for the project is estimated to go beyond Rs 9 crore. The BBMP also has to construct the railway bridge which is expected to cost over Rs 6 crore. “The total cost of the project is expected to go beyond Rs 60 crore,” the official said.

(Published 19 January 2021, 19:47 IST)

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