Green tribunal stays Bengaluru steel bridge project
Bengaluru, Oct 28 (IANS) In a relief to the aggrieved citizens here, the Chennai-based southern bench of the National Green Tribunal on Friday stayed the controversial steel bridge project in the city for four weeks over environmental concerns.
“The tribunal bench headed by Justice M.S. Nambiar has passed an interim order, restraining the Karnataka government from going ahead with the steel flyover project in the city till our concerns are heard,” petitioner V. Balasubramanian told IANS here.
Balasubramanian, a former Additional Chief Secretary of Karnataka and Citizens Action Forum President N.S. Mukunda have jointly filed the writ petition before the tribunal on Monday against the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) from executing the Rs.1,761 crore steel bridge as it would result in cutting about 800 trees and causing environmental damage to the garden city.
The bench has served notices to the state government, the BDA, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and sought their response before the next hearing on November 25.
“Though it is mandatory for the Ministry of Environment and Forests to evaluate the project for approval, it appears to be a party to the state government’s decision to go ahead with the project,” said Balasubramanian.
The proposed 6.7 km six-lane steel bridge from Chalukya circle to Hebbal circle connects the airport road in the city’s northern suburb and the busy National Highway number 7 towards Hyderabad to ease the heavy traffic congestion.
The state cabinet on September 28 awarded the project to L&T Ltd as the lowest bidder for the tender.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, however, defended the steel flyover and claimed the project was proposed in 2010 and announced in 2014-15 budget.