Majority of Bengalureans are saddened – not because the government is planning to implement yet another infrastructural project, but because the government has given a go ahead to a project that is neither citizen-driven nor plan-driven. The proposed steel flyover to be constructed from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal Flyover ignited a city-wide uproar, with citizens demanding their voice be heard in matters related to overall development of the city. The question, however, that arises is – can Bengaluru afford to have such ad-hoc projects that not only jeopardizes the life of our city, but also paves way for blatant misuse of public money?
In view of the above, Namma Bengaluru Foundation(NBF) on October 6, 2016 filed a Writ Petition in the High Court of Karnataka, challenging the actions the Respondents in proposing the construction of six lane elevated road from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal flyover (to be constructed in Steel) via Le- Meridian and Mekhri Circle, in the city of Bengaluru, by Bangalore Development Authority at an estimated cost of over Rs. 1800 Crores as per public domain information.
Why PIL was filed
Alleges that critical information regarding the Project such as the Detailed Project Report, Feasibility Report and details regarding the financing for the Project etc., for scrutiny by citizenry was not available in public domain.
This is notwithstanding the lack of public consultation on the Project and concerns as to feasibility, raised by the several experts in Urban Planning.
Being apprehensive of arbitrary and improper administrative actions being initiated by the Respondents at the cost of State’s natural resources and public monies.
NBF also alleges that the Project has not been subjected to the scrutiny of independent and constitutional authorities such as the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee (BMPC), but has been placed before the Bangalore Vision Group, an independent arbitrarily elected body for town planning.
State of Karnataka, Represented by the Chief Secretary to Government
The Principal Secretary to Government, GOK, UDD
The Commissioner, BDA
BBMP, Represented by its Commissioner
Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi as Respondents.
The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) on November 3, 2016 gave an undertaking to the Karnataka High Court that it will not proceed with the construction of the proposed steel flyover. The Hon’ble court said that it would examine the legal and constitutional issues, such as lack of public consultation and scrutiny of the project by the Metropolitan Planning Committee, and pass a final order.