Bengaluru

Citizens’ forum to up the ante

Members of Citizens for Bengaluru have announced a slew of protests against the proposed steel flyover in the coming weeks.— Photo:SUDHAKARA JAIN  

Days after meeting Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB), the group that is leading the opposition against the proposed steel flyover, has decided to up the ante against the project.

In a move that points to breakdown of talks, CfB has chalked out a strategy for a prolonged fight and announced a calendar of protests for the next two weeks.

“The Chief Minister gave us a patient hearing and sounded conciliatory. But the proposal to start work on the steel flyover from the Hebbal side and take a call after Mekhri Circle essentially saves the tender to which we are not agreeing to,” Prakash Belawadi of CfB told presspersons here on Monday.

Mr. Siddaramaiah had recently instructed the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to commence work on only one section of the flyover from Hebbal to Mekhri Circle and review plans for the stretch between Mekhri Circle and Basaveshwara Circle.

“We want the steel flyover project dropped and the tender scrapped ... till then our resistance will continue,” Mr. Belawadi added.

Naresh Narasimhan, who is part of the three-member delegation that met Mr. Siddaramaiah on Friday night, said, “Just a day after we had our meeting, the Chief Minister reiterated that 73 per cent of the city supports the proposed steel flyover project and the project is final. This indicates hardening of the government’s stand.”

Meanwhile, CfB has planned a day-long satyagraha on November 6. “We appeal to all those who participated in the recent human chain protest and those who voted beda (no) in our referendum to come and join us in the satyagraha. This will be the first such event in the city against an infrastructure project,” said Srinivas Alavilli, another member of CfB. However, the venue for the satyagraha is yet to be decided.

Citizens have also planned a “Save it for Us” carnival on November 13 — on the eve of Children’s Day. This will be a pro-nature carnival led by children appealing to the State government to save the city for them, CfB volunteers said.

CfB is also working on forming a panel with subject experts from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) and other premier institutes, which will come out with an independent environment impact assessment of the project in three weeks. This will be made public, submitted to the agencies concerned and used to fight the case in the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

“We appeal to BDA and the State government to pro-actively come forward and make a presentation to the city on the project and defend it,” Mr. Naresh Narasimhan said.

The group also hopes to get residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) in the city to pass formal resolutions opposing the project to be used in their legal fight against the project.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 7:39:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Citizens%E2%80%99-forum-to-up-the-ante/article16086269.ece

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