Bengaluru

BJP keeps elevated corridor project alive, citizens’ groups take objection

The civic body installed two underground bins, of 500-kg capacity each, in 200 locations across the city during 2016-17

The civic body installed two underground bins, of 500-kg capacity each, in 200 locations across the city during 2016-17   | Photo Credit: file photo

B.S. Yediyurappa orders scrapping of tenders for three packages in the first phase of corridor project

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that opposed the elevated corridor project, while in Opposition, seems to be batting for it now in power, much to the chagrin of civic groups that have been vociferously protesting against it.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, on Monday, ordered the scrapping of the tenders for the three packages in the first phase of the controversial elevated corridor project. However, he also directed Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar to prepare a realistic estimate and action plan for the project.

The State government-owned Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd. (KRDCL) had floated tenders for the first phase of the 21.54-km project, estimated at ₹6,855 crore, in Bengaluru. The total length of the project is 87.87 km. Following media reports of irregularities and complaints from the public about the tendering process and the action plan, Mr. Yediyurappa has scrapped the tenders.

The High Court of Karnataka had stayed the finalisation of the tenders and execution of any work related to the project.

This was during a hearing of an application filed by the Namma Bengaluru Foundation and Citizens Action Forum, who had alleged that the State was taking up the project without the approval of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee (BMPC). While welcoming the decision to scrap the tenders, civic groups are however dismayed at the move to prepare a “realistic estimate” for the project.

N.S. Mukunda, founder-chairman of Citizens' Action Forum, said that it seemed the government was keen on going ahead with the project though several civil society groups had objected to it.

Srinivas Alavilli from Citizens for Bengaluru, a civil society group that was behind the #TenderRadduMaadi campaign against the elevated corridor project, urged Mr. Yediyurappa to shelve the project completely.

“It is an ill-conceived project. The government should instead focus on improving public transport, besides calling all stakeholders for a discussion on sustainable mobility,” he said and added that the city already has 55 flyovers.

“It is clear that road-based solutions will not help ease traffic problems. Unfortunately, the government policies all seem to be car-centric. The need of the hour is investment in buses, reduction on bus fares and creating bus priority lanes. It is improvement of public transport that can give quick, tangible results,” he said.

Concurring, Mr. Mukunda said civil society groups will now have to gear up to take up a legal fight against the controversial project even with the BJP government.

Dustbins

Meanwhile, the State government has also ordered a probe into the installation of underground dustbins by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

The civic body reportedly installed two underground bins, of 500-kg capacity each, in 200 locations across the city at a cost of ₹55.27 crore during 2016-17.

It has been alleged that funds were siphoned off in the scheme and dustbins were not kept in more than 10% of the identified places.

In its order, the government said irregularities occurred in the purchase of cranes and eight trucks meant for transportation of garbage to solid waste management processing plants.

The work order was given to M/s Zonta Infratech Pvt. Ltd. In 2017. Mr. Bhaskar has been directed to complete the probe into the issue within two months.

Probe into housing scheme

Mr. Yediyurappa has ordered a probe into the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme largely funded by the Centre (₹2,661.84 crore).

The scheme was envisaged to provide ‘Housing for All’, mainly for citizens belonging to economically weaker sections of all castes and communities.

It was alleged irregularities occurred in tenders for constructing 49,368 houses in different districts of the State.

The tender process commenced on September 12, 2017.

The probe was ordered following media reports and complaints from the public about the alleged irregularities in the scheme, the order said.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:01:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bjp-keeps-elevated-corridor-project-alive-citizens-groups-take-objection/article29434108.ece

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