Centre will approve works to decongest traffic in B’luru: CM
“It is difficult to widen the existing roads in Bengaluru. So, we have taken two decisions. We will not acquire land but we will build three-deck or grade separators as was done in Chennai,” Gadkari said.
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said that the Union government has asked the state to provide a detailed estimate of all the works,required to improve connectivity and decongest traffic in Bengaluru and has assured to “immediately sanction” the same.
“On the national highways, there are high density corridors, where underpasses, flyovers, skywalks need to be built...we have identified them and given it to them (Union government). They have asked us to submit our plan within the next one to one-and-a-half-month and said they will sanction it immediately,” Bommai said.
“What we have discussed will happen soon,” the CM assured.
Meanwhile, the CM also met Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who is in the state on a two-day visit.
“It is difficult to widen the existing roads in Bengaluru. So, we have taken two decisions. We will not acquire land but we will build three-deck or grade separators as was done in Chennai,” Gadkari was reported as saying by PTI.
Several officials from the Centre have been holding meetings with the state government over several projects, including on reducing congestion in Bengaluru and other highways in Karnataka.
Bommai said that there are several gaps in existing road networks that come in from other major cities like Hyderabad, Chennai and other places and proposals have been made to fill these gaps to divert the traffic away from Bengaluru.
“All these (proposals)...our intention is that the works should start this year itself,” the chief minister said.
The statements come a day after Bommai said that the state government will soon table a bill to set up an authority to manage traffic density in Bengaluru, which has come under sharp criticism as netizens called it the “entry of another body to make the situation more complicated”.
“Sounds like BMLTA? @BMTC_BENGALURU missing,” civic participation head at NGO Janaagraha Srinivas Alavilli said. He was referring to the Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) which has gone through several drafts but is yet to be implemented.
“The exercise is to help salvage ‘Brand Bengaluru’ which has taken a beating in recent years with pothole-laden roads, overflowing drains, toxic lakes, mismanagement of garbage, growing traffic congestion and, recently, the flooding,” persons in the know of the developments said on anonymity.
With civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections likely to be held later this year, followed by the assembly polls in 2023, the Bommai government is reportedly trying to do damage control , especially after the recent rains wreaked havoc on the IT capital exposing tall claims of the civic body and government.
Eminent citizens like former Infosys chief financial officer Mohandas Pai had criticised the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government and tried to draw Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention to the conditions in Bengaluru.
In reply, former BJP corporator NR Ramesh on Thursday wrote a letter, pulling up Pai for his comments.
“You have deliberately forgotten the truth that IT/BT companies and technology parks in Bengaluru are among the primary reasons for today’s rain-related disaster,” Ramesh wrote in his five-page letter.
The letter did not sit well with residents who criticised the leader as a chunk of these tech parks are owned (at least the land) by politicians. “Companies RENT the space. Builders OWN the IT parks and office space. Many are politicians themselves. Just an FYI,” Whitefield Rising, a citizens advocacy group said on its official Twitter handle.
The Congress party, the principal opposition in Karnataka, has hit out at the Bommai-led government for the mismanagement of the city and its current mess.
“When I was chief minister (20013-28) we got a survey done on all the encroachments. There were 1,953 encroachments and we got 1,300 of it cleared. There were 653 remaining but during this we lost power. Then HD Kumaraswamy government came and since then (2019), the BJP have been in power. Why did the BJP not continue removing encroachments, desilting (of drains), linking lakes....because they did not do this, there has been flooding which has thrown normal life out of gear,” Siddaramaiah said.
He added that the BJP is trying to deflect attention from its own mismanagement towards the Congress to mislead people.