Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy announced on Thursday that work on the ambitious 102-km east-west-north-south elevated corridor project in Bengaluru will commence in January 2019, Deccan Herald reported.
The project, after being put in cold storage for over two years, was suddenly revived earlier this year and has gained considerable momentum since then.
The Chief Minister said that the first phase of the project will be complete in 2021 and it is being executed under a public-private partnership model.
The 102-km elevated corridor consists of the following stretches:
Hebbal - Central Silk Board stretch (22 km)
KR Puram - Goraguntepalya stretch(19 km)
Varthur Kodi - Jnanabharathi stretch (24 km)
St John’s Hospital Junction to Agara (4.48 km)
Ulsoor - D’Souza Circle stretch (2.8 km)
Wheeler’s Road junction - Kalyan Nagar (6.46 km) Ramamurthy Nagar - ITPL stretch (9.84 km).
Kumaraswamy claimed that his government had reduced the land acquisition requirements, and consequently, the cost of the project was now down to Rs 25,000 crore. He said the government had cut down the width of the elevated corridor from six lanes to four lanes to ensure minimal land acquisition.
The project will require the acquisition of 90.11 acres of land, including St John’s Medical College playground, Banaswadi lake land, a part of Coles Park and so on.
As per estimates in the last state budget, the cost of the project was pegged at Rs 15,825 crore. However, this figure does not factor in the cost of acquiring around 152 acres of land. Experts pegged the cost of the project at Rs 33,600 crore if land acquisition was included. The project is now estimated to cost Rs 25,495 crore.
Commuters will not have to pay any toll to use the elevated corridors once they are ready, the CM clarified. The elevated corridors will be designed for vehicles to move at 50-80 kmph, promising a 45-minute ride anywhere in the city.
Felling of trees
Trees along Mehkri Circle-Jayamahal Road, Minsk Square-MG Road, Vittal Mallya Road, IISc, Yeshwantpur Circle, Old Airport Road and Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road — 3,716 in total — will be impacted because of the project.
“Wherever possible, trees will be translocated to Cubbon Park, Lalbagh or Kempegowda Layout, where we have 100 acres of space,” the Chief Minister said.
Criticism and Legal Challenges
“Commuters are spending most of their time on the road. The government is being criticized for not solving the problem. When we attempt to do something good, a section of Bengalureans wants to oppose it. There was criticism even when I introduced Metro project but it is widely accepted now,” the CM said.
“All the details relating to the project will also be put up in the public domain to ensure complete transparency. The government is committed to solving the problem of traffic in Bengaluru,” he said.
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