Politicians will not be cowed down by activism of Bengalureans. They are back with a shorter version of “Steal Flyover” to decongest traffic at Shivananda circle. The cost of the project has been revised from 49 crores to 19.85 crores and the proposed structure will come up between Chitrakala Parishat and Janardhan Hotel. So much for “Janta Janardhan”!! Bangalore Mirror has reported that “the cabinet has also approved upgradation of Bagaluru-Budigere Road connecting Kempe Gowda International airport. The existing 9-km stretch will be upgraded as two-way road at a cost of Rs 12.33 cr. Besides, the cabinet has also gave its administrative approval to divert 5 acres of Rehabilitation Centre (Beggars Colony) for construction of Dr Babu Jagajivanram Research and Training Centre at a cost of Rs 82 crore”. Indira Canteens are also proposed for all wards of BBMP by August 15th.
This sudden spurt in spending on infrastructure and return of the steal flyover smacks of haste of gobbling up taxpayer’s money as state assembly elections are knocking on the door. Cash guzzling projects need to be pushed faster before model code of conduct for elections come into force. This is the time to set the ball rolling and get sweeter deals so that an adverse electoral outcome would not affect cash flow for politicians.
The 326 meter steal flyover project has been proposed without doing any public consultation. Rather than decongesting, it’s bound to make traffic insufferable. Naresh Narasimhan of Citizens for Bengaluru has said, “Short pass-overs are necessary only where arterial roads intersect the feeder roads. The question we are asking the government is where is a mobility plan for the city, and how does this flyover fit into the larger mobility plan? Building ad hoc flyovers should stop within the core city,”
City planning has been reduced to a joke by the current government. Populism at the cost of taxpayer’s money has become a favorite pastime for Sidaramaiah administration. A proposal to make bus passes free for SC/ST students is already in the pipeline keeping in view upcoming assembly elections. Volvo bus fares keep skyrocketing and middle class feels the pinch. The pinch becomes unbearable when the government doles out free passes to certain sections based on caste.
Steal flyover is the engine propelling “organized loot and legalized plunder” in Bengaluru. This “monumental mismanagement” of public money needs to stop.
Picture Credit: Asianet Newsable