Project will require axing of 812 trees; BDA promises ‘large scale afforestation’. Providing seamless commute to airport passengers and reducing peak hour traffic snarls on the busy Ballari road, the state cabinet on Wednesday, approved the controversial steel flyover project from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal flyover junction at the cost of Rs 1,791 crore. The massive six-lane steel structure, besides easing the traffic flow on the stretch, would leave the IT city high and dry as the project will require the axing of 812 trees along the stretch.
With a huge number of trees marked for chopping, the state’s ambitious project has run into major controversy even before it could take off from the drawing board. Revealing that the cabinet has approved the project, law minister TB Jayachandra said, “L&T has been awarded the contract after serious negotiations. While the initial estimated cost was Rs 1,130 crore, the company had quoted Rs 1,856 crore. However, after a series of negotiations, the cost of the project now stands at Rs 1,791 crore.”
The 6.72 km long flyover will be completed in 24 months and opened for traffic by March 2018, according to Jayachandra. “The project requires about 4 acres of land of which, three acres belong to the government. All through the stretch, about 812 trees will be uprooted for the project. The major species include Acacia, Akasha Mallige and other local varieties,” explained Rajkumar Khatri, commissioner, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) which has been entrusted with the task of execution of the project.
The steel flyover, said to be the first-of-its-kind in India, according to Jayachandra, will have three up-ramps at Raj Bhavan, Maharani College and Mehkri Circle, and four down-ramps – two towards Mehkri circle (one towards Jayamahal and one towards Yeshwantpur); one towards Vasanthnagar (near BDA junction), one towards Vidhana Soudha (connecting Maharani College and Race Course road at Basaveshwara Circle). As many as 2,68,000 vehicles of different types are expected to use the flyover.
Asked if the users of the flyovers will be tolled, Jayachandra said, “Decision on levying of a toll fee on users will be taken at a later stage.” Once completed, the structure will reduce the traffic snarls at Basaveshwara Circle by 62 per cent and by 59 per cent at Mehkri circle. The project is expected to reduce vehicle operating costs considerably.
Sources in the BDA revealed that the weight of the steel flyover segments will be in the range of 10 tonnes to 15 tonnes as against 70 tonnes and 100 tonnes of concrete structure segments. “In case of an earthquake, the steel segment shows greater resistance to tremors. Strength and ductility of steel makes it highly resistant to extreme natural disasters such as earthquakes,” explained an engineer with BDA.
Considering that huge numbers of trees cleared away for the project, BDA has decided to take up large scale afforestation across the city. “60,000 saplings will be planted in various layouts developed by the BDA across the city,” said the BDA engineer.
STEEL FLYOVER FACTS & FIGURES
Estimated cost: Rs 1,350 crore
Contract amount: Rs 1,791 Crore
Agency: L & T, Mumbai and NCCL, Hyderabad
Contract period: 24 months
Trees to be axed: 812
Traffic volume: 2.68 lakh per day
Total length-6.72 km
Areas to be decongested: Basaveshwara circle, High Grounds, Windsor Manor, Cauvery junction, Mehkri Circle and Sanjay Nagar Up ramps towards KIA at: Rajbhavan circle, Maharani College, Mehkri circle
Credits Bangalore Mirror