Elevated corridor back? Citizens brace for battle

Elevated corridor back? Citizens brace for another battle

Is the BJP, which raised a hue and cry over the 88 km elevated corridor proposed by the Congress-JD(S) government, quietly bringing it back?

The much-discussed 88 km elevated corridor project, proposed by the JDS-Congress government and scrapped by the BJP government, is finding its way back. 

A year-and-a-half after a citizens’ movement forced the government to drop the proposal, the final draft of the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP), announced in 2020, is talking about elevated corridors, triggering alarm among citizens’ groups. 

Tara Krishnaswamy, co-founder of Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) says the project will be a waste of public money. “We have also questioned the validity of the CMP itself of which the elevated corridor is a part,” she told Metrolife.

Citizens’ groups will come together and protest, as they did when the elevated corridor was first proposed, if the government wants to revive the plan, she adds.

Many activists feel the BJP government is testing the waters before they bring the flyover project back to life.

D S Rajashekar, former president and member of Citizens’ Action Forum, says, “The same people who raised a hue and cry about the corridor being a scam are now advocating it. What changed now?”

‘Flyover holiday’

Srinivas Alavilli, an activist who had mobilised protests against the elevated corridor, says that reviving it is a “terrible idea”.

“Flyovers will not solve Bengaluru’s traffic problem. We should have a flyover holiday and stop constructing flyovers for a while. The city already has 55 flyovers, and they haven’t made much of a difference. Wait and see how bus lanes, suburban trains, and expediting Metro lines pan out,” Srinivas adds. 

The amount of construction needed for the corridor will be ‘devastating for the city’s environment’, especially when other projects are also in progress, he says. 

Srinivas believes ‘high-priority bus lanes will be more effective and 1,000 times cheaper than the elevated corridor’.

Projects to promote cycle lanes and footpaths are going in the right direction; the government should stick to the public transport and non-motorable plans and not mess things around with yet another flyover, he says.  

‘Bus priority lanes must’

Public transport activist Vinay Sreenivasa of Bengaluru Bus Prayaanikara Vedike says fewer buses are on the roads since the pandemic broke out.

“The number of buses over the last five years has gone down, and not enough money is being spent on buses,” he says.

“Plans for the city should be made with a clear vision for the future,” he suggests.

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