Experts oppose tunnel network proposed in Bengaluru to ease traffic congestion | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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‘Unworkable’: Experts on tunnel highway network proposed in Bengaluru to ease traffic congestion

Jul 13, 2023 11:42 AM IST

The Karnataka government has proposed an underground tunnel network in Bengaluru to ease traffic issues, but experts argued for development of public transport.

Karnataka deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar, who is in charge of Bengaluru development, has proposed to build an underground tunnel network in the city in a bid to ease its ongoing traffic issues. The tunnel highway network, inspired by Singapore's tunnels, will be a 99-kilometre-long project, consisting of three main corridors, according to a report by Times Now.

Karnataka DCM DK Shivakumar called for a meeting last month on "Brand Bengaluru" which was attended by various industry leaders including Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. (PTI)
Karnataka DCM DK Shivakumar called for a meeting last month on "Brand Bengaluru" which was attended by various industry leaders including Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. (PTI)

If completed, this will also be one of the world's longest tunnel networks. The Karnataka government decided on the project after receiving inputs from several industry leaders at the “Brand Bengaluru” meeting held last month. DK Shivakumar, along with other leaders, had earlier also planned to visit Singapore to inspect it's tunnel networks. The Siddaramaiah-led leadership in the southern state will spend around 22,000 crore to construct Phase 1 of the project, and 450 crore to tunnel each kilometre, according to initial estimates.

READ | Siddaramaiah allocates 45,000 crore for ‘Brand Bengaluru’

The first corridor will be in the north - south direction, while the other two main corridors will be from east to west. The project will also have three other connecting corridors. It is due to undergo a feasibility study soon, after which the government will address concerns surrounding the land acquisition process.

While the initiative is being backed by several industry leaders, experts pointed out that the development of public transport and mass transit systems in the city is a more sustainable solution to end traffic congestions. Sandeep Anirudhan, a civic activist and the convenor for two groups - “Citizens Agenda for Bengaluru” and “Bengaluru Mobility” - said the DCM should visit Singapore, not to inspect its tunnels, but to study its mass transit system.

READ | Karnataka govt aims to provide good quality governance: DK Shivakumar

“Singapore does not have any tunnel based road network. A few odd tunnels (underpasses) and bridges were built in previous decades. In fact, Singapore did propose an underground road system in the 80's, which it thankfully scrapped in 2017,” he said in a statement.

“The Singapore Land Transport Authority instead chose to focus on enhancing the Metro network, which is now the main mode of transport, transporting 25 to 35 lakh passengers per day. That is seven times more passengers than our (Bengaluru) metro, even though the population of Singapore has only one third our population,” he added.

Anirudhan also pointed to other cities including Tokyo and Amsterdam, hailing their mass transit systems.

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