News Brief

Karnataka Deputy CM Urges Financial Support From Nirmala Sitharaman For Bengaluru Tunnel Road, Amid Project Criticism By Experts

Bhuvan Krishna

Dec 21, 2023, 12:42 PM | Updated 12:42 PM IST

Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, presently in New Delhi, met with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday (20 December), urging financial assistance for his ambitious Bengaluru tunnel road project as reported by The Indian Express.

In a letter to the Minister, Shivakumar sought central funds for the state and the National Highways Authority of India in the upcoming budget to support the tunnel project connecting National Highways 7 and 4.

The proposed 60-km tunnel aims to alleviate severe traffic congestion in Bengaluru's North-South and East-West corridors, with an estimated cost of Rs 30,000 crore, at Rs 500 crore per km.

However, the project has faced criticism from mobility experts and the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, who argue that tunnel roads may encourage increased private vehicle use, exacerbating traffic issues.

Simultaneously, Shivakumar has invited Expressions of Interest from road engineering and construction firms for project proposals.

He emphasised that with ongoing infrastructure development and limitations on road expansion in Bengaluru, constructing a tunnel road is a viable solution to ease traffic.

Beyond the tunnel project, Shivakumar sought Central government approval for the extension of the Metro project and financial aid of Rs 3,000 crore from the World Bank for flood mitigation infrastructure in Bengaluru.

The letter also appealed to Sitharaman for intervention in the approval process of the detailed project report for the Mekedatu project, aimed at building a dam across the Cauvery River.

Additionally, Shivakumar has requested a gazette notification for the third phase of the Upper Krishna project, clearance for the Upper Bhadra project funds, environmental clearance for the Kalasa Bhanduri project, and Central funds for the Yettinahole project, addressing various water and irrigation concerns in Karnataka.

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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