Steel Flyover Proposal Leaves Bengaluru Divided

Come 2018 and Bengalureans may be set to enjoy a seamless commute from the heart of the city towards the Kempegowda International Airport, with the government planning a flyover to connect the two. However, the news has divided the city with many believing that this will make matters worse instead of improving it.

BDA to Build 6.7 Km Steel Flyover

The State government has come up with a proposal to build a 6.7 Kilometer flyover stretching from Basaveshwara circle to Hebbal junction that will be built by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). The authorities hope that this will help ease the pressure on the city’s roads and be the ultimate freeway to the airport

“We have taken the opinion of all the experts and came to the conclusion that this project will definitely help Bangalore city de-congest its traffic,” says PN Nayak, Engineer Member of the BDA.

The agency is also planning on constructing the flyover using steel, which they claim will be easier to setup. “We have proposed using steel girder and columns that will be fabricated in the casting yard and erected at night so that traffic will not be affected much.” says PN Nayak.

City Divided Over Flyover’s Benefits

But will this really help decongest traffic or will it simply shift the pressure from one location to another? Experts believe it will only make matters worse and are already raising questions about the durability, aesthetics and even the cost, with BDA estimating that the flyover will cost a whopping Rs 1,500 Crores. Besides this, the project will also end up demolishing three flyovers, an underpass and two skywalks that are in the way.

“Do they even have enough money to build adequate infrastructure and are they going to be spending their money in a manner that will deliver the desired outcomes? These are the two questions that we must ask the government.” says Srikanth Vishwanathan, Coordinator for Policy Advocacy at the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy. Experts also claim building the flyover out of steel is a flawed move. “You know the design is defective. Steel bridges are not durable like concrete bridges.” Warns urban planner, AS Kodandapani,

Real Estate experts however are optimistic about the project, ”New developments in infrastructure towards North Bengaluru will always favour the city’s growth” says Ram Chandani, managing director of Transaction Services at CBRE India. “But this will not be a one stop solution and the government will have to look at providing enough exit ways for this flyover to genuinely be a success”.

Netizens Start Campaign Against Flyover

While that debate goes on, Bengaluru’s citizens are angry about the government giving them only 48 hours to comment on the pros and cons of the move. Several online campaigns against the flyover have started, with politicians shooting off letters to the Chief Minister asking him to reconsider the project.

The city stands divided with one camp believing that the steel flyover is a must for a smart city like Bengaluru that must follow the examples set by global cities, but on the flipside, the other camp believes and with justification that the garden city may soon be left with only concrete and steel. Will moving forward bring us two steps back? That is something the government must consider before going ahead with this steel flyover.

Reporter : Stacy Pereira
Web Editor : Nikhil Narayan Sivadas