The citizens’ groups that had rallied against the steel flyover project a few years ago came together once again demanding the state government to cancel the tender called for the elevated corridor project. The protest received massive support with at least 1,500 people participating in the event so far on Saturday morning at the Maurya Circle behind the Race Course. More than 50 RWA members staged a demonstration demanding cancellation of the tenders for the controversial project under the hashtag #TenderRadduMaadi (Cancel the Tender).
“The State government should at least now wake up to the reality and cancel the project which is unscientific and a threat to hundreds of fully-grown trees in the city’s green heart,” said a member of the Citizen for Bengaluru, which is coordinating the protest. Besides Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB), the list includes Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike, Bangalore Apartments Federation, Citizens for Sustainability, Whitefield Rising, Cubbon Park, I Change Indiranagar, Environment Support Group, Bengaluru Suburban Rail Users and others. Kids, youngsters, senior citizens from all walks of life have extended their support. CfB’s Srinivas Alavilli said, “There was no public consultation took place. The elevated corridor is a terrible idea and not the right solution for Bengaluru. We must focus on the suburban train, bus, bicycles, and footpath without any other distractions”.
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had announced to build 102 km long six corridors within days of assuming charge. Recently the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd floated tender for a 22 km stretch of the corridor. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 28,000 crore. Earlier DH had highlighted how the project would slice through 120 trees in Cubbon Park and 356 trees on Jayamahal road stretch. This report triggered a public outcry on social media, with several citizens questioning the proposed destruction of Bengaluru’s iconic lung space. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy tweeted in response to the protest on Saturday afternoon. “One of the biggest hurdles in Bengaluru’s progress is traffic congestion. The #elevatedcorridor project is the solution to this. Some citizen groups are protesting against the project. My request to all is to come to me & raise their concerns. I will listen with an open mind to your feedback,” he said.