The slugger of a question is this: Is the steel flyover’s extension actually meant to benefit people in just a few plush private properties adjacent to it? It appears so if one goes by the technical drawings of the proposed 1.6-km extension that Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has put out.
Technical experts, engineers and architects, who are closely following the steel flyover project, have deciphered the maze of technical drawings. They have pointed out options kept open to provide road connectivity to a few upscale properties – including Esteem Mall and Embassy Lake Terraces – through the service road leading to the up-ramp (road from down to up) of the flyover as one approaches the city from the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) side.
The extension, basically a steel flyover over a flyover, ends before the elevated expressway starts while on the way to KIA.
The Embassy Lake Terraces is a residential complex developed on a 4.5 acre land with around 460 apartments in 21-storeyed towers. It is located just off Bellary Road, about 200 metres from the Hebbal flyover, while Esteem Mall is just next to the highway. Both the properties are on the left of Bellary Road while approached from KIA.
The service road adjacent to Columbia Asia hospital, Esteem Mall and Embassy Lake Terraces can go up the ramp while coming from the KIA side to come on to the steel bridge to go towards the city.
“There is an option that can be made use of to provide road connectivity to a private few properties from the service road to the up-ramp of the steel flyover. In the maps, the BDA has intentionally left it open, fearing a hue and cry over it (providing connectivity to a few properties). But from what we see from the drawings, the connectivity is clear,’’ said a civil and transportation engineer, who is clued into the project.
Technically, the down-ramp (section linking the flyover to the road below) of elevated expressway road coming from the KIA, and the service road, are shown to merge and then connect to the up-ramp to the steel flyover. “The authorities can make a point on this basis that it was not intentional to provide accessibility to a few select properties,’’ pointed out another expert.
Incidentally, last year, too, when a plan was conceived by the BDA to construct a flyover connecting Hebbal and Nagawara junctions (on the outer ring road-ORR), it was a win-win situation for one of the Embassy properties.
Tired of traffic congestion on the ORR, when tech companies paying high rentals started looking for new places to set up their offices, the government announced a Rs 450 crore, 4.25-km-long, elevated stretch, connecting Hebbal Junction with Nagawara Junction. And Embassy group announced Rs 50 crore financial assistance for the flyover. In the bargain, the plan was to facilitate employees working in Embassy-owned Manyata Tech Park to gain entry and exit by building two ramps from the flyover into the campus.
However, the project seems to have died a quiet death amidst the brouhaha over the steel bridge.