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Bangalore steel flyover between Basaveshwara Circle and Hebbal

India, Bengaluru, October 25: It is a Rs 1,791 crore project proposed by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to construct a 6.72 km long, 6-lane steel flyover between Basaveshwara Circle and Hebbal to ease traffic along a route leading to the international airport. It is proposed to be completed in 24 months, and opened by 2018

As the opposition to the proposed steel flyover in Bengaluru gathered momentum with more than 40 thousand citizens of the city voting against it in a civil society referendum as the  Project will require axing of 812 trees; BDA promises ‘large scale afforestation’.  eminent historian Ramchandra Guha joined the protesting voices, questioning the motives of the Siddaramaiah led Congress government behind the project.

Guha criticised the Siddaramaiah government saying that the project is not just unscientific, it is also unethical. He questioned the haste of the government in rushing into the project bulldozing public opinion. Guha said, “They want to gather the money fast because they know they are going to lose elections.”

Quoting Jawahar Lal Nehru, who passionately called mega infrastructural projects as ‘the temples of modern India’, the renowned historian advised the Congress-led Karnataka government to listen to the first Prime minister as he regretted some of the things he started.

In 1958, Jawahar Lal Nehru, in self-critique, gave a speech to a meeting of engineers. He said,” I deplore a dangerous outlook developing in India- the disease of gigantism. The idea of having big undertakings or having big tasks for the sake of showing that we can do big things is not a good outlook at all. “

Guha said, “In Nehru’s time the disease of gigantism was a product of folly. We were foolish to think that is how we showed we were modern. Now, however, the India we live in, the gigantic projects are prompted by frauds, not folly. We have moved from folly to fraud and the steel flyover is an example of this. The larger the project, the larger the cut. This is a universal rule. It cuts across parties.

L&T has been awarded the contract after serious negotiations. While the initial estimated cost was Rs 1,130 crore, the company had quoted Rs 1,856 crore. However, after a series of negotiations, the cost of the project now stands at Rs 1,791 crore.

Asked if the users of the flyovers will be tolled, Jayachandra said, “Decision on levying of a toll fee on users will be taken at a later stage.” Once completed, the structure will reduce the traffic snarls at Basaveshwara Circle by 62 per cent and by 59 per cent at Mehkri circle. The project is expected to reduce vehicle operating costs considerably.

Sources in the BDA revealed that the weight of the steel flyover segments will be in the range of 10 tonnes to 15 tonnes as against 70 tonnes and 100 tonnes of concrete structure segments. “In case of an earthquake, the steel segment shows greater resistance to tremors. Strength and ductility of steel makes it highly resistant to extreme natural disasters such as earthquakes,” explained an engineer with BDA.