The Karnataka government has scrapped the controversial steel flyover project in Bengaluru. “The steel flyover will not be constructed. The plan has been cancelled,” state Urban Development Minister KJ George told ANI.
While unconfirmed reports said an “official announcement” of the move will be made soon, they claimed that the decision was made following allegations of corruption in the Congress-led state government. The reported decision to drop the steel flyover plan comes on the heels of a controversy surrounding a diary seized from MLC Govindaraju, which contains a list of payments made against initials attributed to central Congress leaders, The Hindu reported. “Steel bridge 65 cr” was one such entry in the diary.
Unnamed officials told The News Minute that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was unhappy with this development and wanted the project scrapped. The decision is believed to have been made at meeting in George’s house, which was attended by all Bengaluru city lawmakers as well as local civic body officials on Wednesday.
The Rs 1,791-crore flyover proposed by the Bengaluru Development Authority was met with intense protests from thousands of residents of the city and environmentalists, who said the project would require the cutting of more than 800 trees. Despite opposition, Karnataka Chief Minister had hailed the project and said the flyover would be constructed as it has “public support”. It was meant to be built between Basaveshwara Circle and Hebbal to ease traffic.
The project was handed over to contractor Larsen and Toubro a day before the National Green Tribunal, on October 28, 2016, issued a four-week stay on the construction. On November 30, the Environment Ministry had clarified that the proposed steel flyover had not received clearance from the Centre yet.