Parameshwara defends move to revive steel bridge in Karnataka

Bengaluru: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara Thursday defended the state government’s decision to revive the multi-billion steel bridge project here which was shelved earlier following massive public protests.

Speaking to reporters, he said there was a need for the infrastructure project to tackle the growing traffic problem in the city. Citing a projection that the city population may swell to two crores in 10 years, he said planning must be made keeping in mind the requirements for next 20 years.

Presently, around 75 lakh to 80 lakh vehicles plied on the city roads. The government was only trying to find alternatives such as suburban rail, Metro Rail second and third phase and elevated roads, Parameshwara said adding the steel grade separator would definitely be useful.

Parameshwara

Parameshwara had on 1 January announced the decision to revive the project. The previous Siddaramaiah government had cleared the steel bridge from Chalukya Circle to Esteem Mall at an estimated cost of Rs 2,200 crore, but abandoned it after a public outcry over allegations of lack of transparency.

Calling it a ‘steel monstrosity’, critics of the project have said that the government would end up spending more on painting the structure to avoid it getting rusted. They also said the flyover would take away the aesthetics of Bengaluru.

State BJP President B S Yeddyurappa had opposed the ‘arbitrary’ decision of the government to go ahead with the project, when environmentalists, urban experts and even H D Kumaraswamy, as state JD(S) president, had objected to it.