In Bengaluru, govt rams steel through popular protests, clears flyover project

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The Bengaluru Development Authority has cleared the construction of the controversial steel flyover from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal, despite protests against it. The BDA decided to go ahead with the project at its board meeting on Thursday, with pressure coming from the government to take up the project at the earliest.

[Also Read: Comment: Bengaluru's flyover not a walkover, but the finest steel has to go through the hottest fire]

The campaign launched by Citizens Against Steel Flyover ( C A S Fo ) - a group of artists,citizen activists, resident welfare associations backed by residents protesting against Steel Flyover construction.

The 6.7 kilometre-long flyover will be built at a cost of Rs 1,791 crore between Basaveshwara circle and Hebbal Flyover. Ever since the government decided to go ahead with it, there have been widespread criticism and several protests. Some 5,000 people, including the city's prominent personalities, had formed' a human chain against it last Sunday.

After the BDA board members sign the minutes of the meeting, the BDA will issue a letter of consent to the contractor who would implement the project. Work on the project is likely to start after November 1. The board meeting had been originally scheduled for Monday but was put off to Thursday.

[Gallery: Protest against Construction of Steel Flyover Kannada News Events]

It is learnt that the BDA was told by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to clear the project at the earliest. The nominated BDA director, S.T. Somashekhar, who is also the MLA from Yeshwanthpur, has told BDA officials to take up the project as early as possible. He also told the BDA to clarify all doubts that are being raised by the public.

The government plans to have an open road tolling system. Those who want to use the flyover would have to buy rechargeable cards that would enable automatic deduction of toll charges. These cards would be identified by radio frequency identification.

Over 800 trees will be felled to make way for the flyover in a city that has already lost much of its green cover, the main point over which those opposed to it are protesting. The government says it will plant ten saplings for ever tree felled.

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