The giant pillars that have come up to add additional loops to the Hebbal flyover are likely to be demolished to make way for future developments at the junction. In 2019, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had halted the construction work after the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) raised concerns over a proposed loop coming in the way of the phase III alignment of the Namma Metro that goes via Hebbal towards Tumakuru Road.
Out of the 43 pillars, 13 were constructed. Now, these pillars will be removed to facilitate, inter alia, work on the additional lanes and the proposed metro lines.
In July, Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda, in a letter to the Chief Minister, asked the State government to resume the work on adding additional loops to decongest traffic. His letter stated that ₹24.49 crore was spent on the halted project, and if the pillars are demolished, it would be seen as an another instance of how lack of coordination and planning results in wastage of public money.
To ease the traffic at the junction, BDA has already floated tenders for constructing additional lanes to benefit motorists coming from Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and moving towards the city. As per the proposed plan, the BDA will add three lanes in addition to existing two for traffic coming from the airport side.
For the traffic coming from Tumakuru Road side and moving towards K.R. Puram, a unidirectional underpass will be constructed, and a new ramp will be built linking the proposed new lanes for the benefit of the motorists going towards the city.
The BDA is also proposing to dismantle the existing ramp used by the motorists coming from K.R. Puram side to reach the city. Instead, a new flyover will be constructed, a branch of the flyover will be merged with the proposed new lanes towards the city, and motorists from K.R. Puram can use the same flyover to go towards the airport as the same flyover will be linked to the national highway.
Engineering member of the BDA H.R. Shantharajanna said, “For the benefit of the people coming from the airport and entering the city, the BDA has proposed addition of three lanes. They will have a down ramp near the Baptist Hospital. From Esteem Mall side, the elevation of the ramp starts with two lanes; after it converges for the traffic coming from Tumakuru Road side and K.R. Puram side, the three lanes will carry the traffic towards the city. In future, a total of five lanes will be available for the traffic coming from the airport. This plan does not involve acquisition of new properties and can be accommodated with the existing space available on the eastern side of the flyover.”
The official said that the down ramp will provide a seamless link to the road heading towards Mekhri Circle without blocking the road that connects residential locations located on the left side of the road from Hebbal towards Baptist Hospital.
When asked about the plans to decongest the traffic coming from the city and moving towards the airport, the official said there are no immediate plans to build the new lanes. “Constructing the additional lanes on western side of the flyover involves land acquisition and also it falls in the buffer zone of the Hebbal Lake. For the time being, the existing three lanes are sufficient for traffic moving from the city to the airport.”
Metro will go above Hebbal flyover
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has given its consent for the proposed expansion plans of the Hebbal flyover, said Anjum Parwez, Managing Director, BMRCL.
“The meetings were held at the level of Chief Secretary. The proposed plans do not come in the way of our alignment of the airport line as well as the proposed phase III metro line from Hebbal to J.P. Nagar,” he said. He added that the Hebbal alignment of the phase III elevated line will go above the Hebbal flyover at level two.
The BMRCL had roped in Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) to come up with a report on decongesting Hebbal and facilitate a multi-modal transit hub in the future. The RITES too had suggested adding of the lanes to ease the traffic by acquiring over 33,558 square meters of land. However, the BDA has not entirely accepted the plans proposed by the RITES. BDA officials maintain that adding of new lines in the eastern part of the flyover will be done without acquiring additional land.