Neighbourhoods divided over steel flyover

The divide over the proposed steel flyover is evident even along its alignment. Though most neighbourhoods along the route of the steel flyover on Ballari Road remain opposed to the project, the neighbourhoods located at the end point, at Esteem Mall junction, are strongly batting for it.

Even as the State government has been arguing that the steel flyover is required to segregate the airport traffic, which will give respite to areas along the alignment, several RWAs in Abshot Layout, Sanjay Nagar, R.T. Nagar, Jayamahal, Sadashivanagar, Vasanth Nagar, Malleswaram, Hebbal have been opposing the project and some of their representatives even participated in last weekend's human chain protest.

Show of support

Nevertheless, residents in Sahakar Nagar, Kempapura, Vidyaranyapura, Shivaram Karanth Nagar, Amrutahalli – all areas beyond the Hebbal flyover – are strongly batting for the steel flyover.

A. Sivarama Setty, Secretary, Sahakar Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA), argued that the steel flyover is necessary to ease traffic. “Nobody is talking of the environmental damage, fuel wastage and travel time as a result of the traffic congestion,” he argued.

N. Devaraj, president of Kempapura RWA, said the flyover could solve the problems plaguing Kempapura junction. “People are losing their lives or getting injured in accidents. None of those protesting against the steel flyover are from north Bengaluru. Our opinions need to take precedence,” he argued.

But the neighbourhoods along the alignment make a different argument. Ramesh C Dutt, of Sanjay Nagar RWA, while conceding that the flyover will reduce travel time from the CBD, said its cost was too dear.

“We will be served better if the government opts for a Namma Metro line along the corridor,” he argued.

Metro connectivity is a theme writ large across several neighbourhoods along the alignment.

T. Vidyadhar, convenor of Forward Hebbal, a federation of over 20 RWAs in the area, said that all RWAs had collectively decided to oppose the project. “We will be forced to pay toll to reach our homes or endure hour long delays on the road below,” he argued.

Sadashivanagar RWA passed a resolution on Friday opposing the steel flyover. Vivek Shah of the RWA said that their area is the biggest victim of short-sighted infrastructure intervention, like the magic box, and believes the steel flyover would be a blunder.

Hanumanth Reddy of Jayamahal RWA and Raju Dugar of Vasanth Nagar RWA said residents are also concerned about the up and down ramps into their areas, which they said would only add to the congestion and mess in residential areas. “They are only shifting the congestion from Ballari Road to our areas,” said Mr. Reddy. Santosh Lal of Abshot Layout RWA is worried about losing the biggest green space in their area — the golf course.

Meeting with Governor

Citizens For Bengaluru, who are protesting against the steel flyover, on Friday sought an appointment with Governor Rudabhai Vajubhai Vala to brief him about their concerns.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 8:42:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Neighbourhoods-divided-over-steel-flyover/article16079432.ece

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