Sankey flyover project in B’luru put on hold
The proposed widening of Sankey Tank Bund road and the flyover from T Chowdaiah Road to 18th Cross in Bengaluru had drawn criticism from residents, civic activists and urban experts
Amid opposition from urban experts and residents, BBMP chief commissioner Tushar Girinath on Thursday put on hold the Sankey flyover project and said that the project would be reviewed by the Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA).
The decision was taken after the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) chief held a meeting with members of Citizens for Sankey, a residents’ collective of Malleshwaram, Vyalikaval and Sadashivanagar, Sadashivnagar Residents Welfare Association, Malleshwaram Residents Welfare Association, and Malleshwaram Social and Malleshwaram Swabhiman Initiative.
Girinath said the BBMP would withdraw the tree-cutting proposal pending before the deputy conservator of forest (DCF) immediately until further directive from the BMLTA.
The citizen groups also submitted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report prepared by the Vruksha Foundation and Azim Premji University to the BBMP commissioner.
The proposed widening of Sankey Tank Bund road and the flyover from T Chowdaiah Road to 18th Cross in Bengaluru has drawn criticism from residents, civic activists and urban experts.
According to the residents, the project will not reduce the traffic congestion in the area and the felling of trees close to the bund could have serious ecological implications.
Residents living close to Sankey Tank also said they were not consulted about the project before BBMP floated tenders. They asked for a detailed project report (DPR) to be made public and to organise a public consultation before taking up the project.
According to a survey conducted by the Citizens for Sankey, 91% of residents in Sadashivnagar voted against project, and 4,000 students in the area have written postcards to chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, requesting him to stop the project.
More than 1,000 citizens also have written to the forest department and the BBMP, objecting to the felling of the trees, with over 27,000 people signing a petition against the project.
The Sankey Tank bund road widening project was first proposed in 2011, and there was widespread agitation by residents and activists who approached Karnataka high court.
After being delayed for several years, it was authorised by the Karnataka high court in 2011. The court ruled that the project was for the public good and must proceed with proper steps to follow the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act.
The BBMP revived the project of widening the 1.1 km road between Bhashyam Circle and Malleswaram 18th Cross in December last year. To ease the traffic in the region, it also wanted to build a 560-metre-long, four-lane flyover along the road that links central and northern Bengaluru with 7.5 m carriageways on either side of the median.
Civic activist and convener of Citizens’ Agenda for Bengaluru, Sandeep Anirudhan, welcomed the move and said that the announcement of flyovers and road widening flies in the face of the very purpose of setting up the BMLTA, adding that all flyovers, including Sankey, need to be scrapped.
“It is the MPC’s and BMLTA’s job to arrive at integrated and holistic solutions for mobility in the city. Such ad-hoc band-aid solutions never meet any purpose and are a waste of public exchequer money and lead to more congestion, proving counter-productive. All flyovers need to be cancelled immediately, including the flyovers that were announced earlier, such as the Ejipura flyover and Sankey flyover projects,” Anirudhan said.