Elevated corridor meant for public transport: HDK

During his interaction with DH, Kumaraswamy refuted the oft-cited concern that an elevated corridor network would only end up increasing the number of cars, defeating the project’s objective of decongesting the city. DH photo

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy remained bullish on the elevated corridor project despite protests by citizens and even claimed Friday that it was meant for public transport. 

During his interaction with DH, Kumaraswamy refuted the oft-cited concern that an elevated corridor network would only end up increasing the number of cars, defeating the project’s objective of decongesting the city. “This will be for the public transport system. Not for cars. We're doing this to expressly curb air pollution,” Kumaraswamy said. 

“Some four people are opposing the project. I’m ready for an open discussion. I even met them recently and told them to wait till the Lok Sabha elections are over. What’s important for me is to find a solution. There’s no personal gain for me in building elevated corridors. The air in the city is so bad that it’s leading to cardiac diseases,” he said. “Ultimately, any project the government does should be of use to citizens.” 

Citizen activists are up in arms against the government over the proposed 102-km network of elevated corridors. These corridors will connect Hebbal with Central Silk Board (North-South corridor 1), KR Puram with Goraguntepalya (East-West corridor 1),  Varthur Kodi with Mysore Road (East-West corridor 2), St John's Hospital Junction to Agara (connecting corridor 1), Ulsoor with D’Souza Circle (connecting corridor 2), Wheeler’s Road junction with Kalyan Nagar (connecting corridor-3) and an additional corridor connecting Ramamurthy Nagar to ITPL.
 


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The project is estimated to cost over Rs 25,000 crore and consume more than 3,700 trees. 

Kumaraswamy announced the elevated corridor project in his budget last year with a promise that it will help decongest Bengaluru, cut carbon emissions and reduce congestion cost. 

“I want to ask, how did we do the metro project? Even that is elevated. Has it benefited citizens or inconvenienced them,” Kumaraswamy asked. Pointing out that it was during his tenure as the CM in 2006 that a decision was taken to build the Metro on elevated tracks. “In fact, back then a Los Angeles-based company came to me with a proposal to take the metro underground like it is in many global cities. I even considered it, but officials advised against it saying it would push the project timeline further by many more years,” he said. 

On the long-pending Peripheral Ring Road, another project that promises to decongest the city, Kumaraswamy said officials were trying to get a stay from the National Green Tribunal vacated in order to start work. “Such a travesty that our officials didn’t even know the NGT had stayed the project in 2015. It came to the fore when we wanted to float tenders,” he said. 

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