In the wake of the human chain of over 3,000 people protesting against the proposed steel flyover to link Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal in Bengaluru, counter campaigns by residents bearing the brunt of the traffic congestion in these areas are gaining momentum.
People from areas that would benefit from the reduced congestion if the proposed flyover were to be built, such as Yelahanka, Sahakar Nagar, Judicial Layout, Amruthanagar, Dr Shivaram Karanth Nagar and Basava Balaga, organised a rally to express their support for the project.
Shivarama Shetty, a resident of Sahakar Nagar, told The New Indian Express:
"Our survey says that the total number of vehicles on Hebbal flyover is 2,67,925 per day, of which 1,07,130 are two-wheelers. More than 70 per cent are plying during peak hours. The average speed of vehicles during the peak hours is 10-15 km per hour. The additional fuel consumed to travel the distance at this low speed is 1,43,175 litres, costing 10 crore per month. Due to this, pollution is also higher."
The 6.7 km flyover, which is supposed to link Basaveshwara Circle and Hebbal will cost ₹1,800 crores to build and will reportedly cause substantial damage to the city's green cover. If it is constructed, the steel flyover is expected to alleviate Bengaluru's notorious traffic congestion but at the cost of destroying 812 trees. The proposed flyover will also require around four acres of public and privately-owned land.
The Karnataka state government has stated that the average speed of vehicles in Bengaluru is already down to 13 km per hour and that the steel flyover will help speed up the city's traffic. Besides, constructing the steel flyover will not release any dust and will be completed in 24 months.
They have released a video in support of their claims:
But many Bangalureans point out that the city has already lost 10,000 trees in the preceding years to road widening and the Metro Rail work, and simply cannot afford to lose more.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said that efforts are on to inform the public about the proposed project. "Both for and against opinions have been expressed on the proposed construction of a steel flyover here. Bengaluru Development and Town Planning Minister KJ George is working on informing the people about actualities," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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