Days after BJP MLAs from Bengaluru asked Karnataka deputy chief minister CN Ashwathnarayan to allocate funds for the Elevated Corridor (EC) proposal, citizen activists urged the Dy CM to use the Rs 27,000 crore earmarked for the project for strengthening public transport instead.
According to the representatives of various civic groups from the city, a petition was submitted to the Dy CM on Saturday, urging him to use the funds to speed up the suburban rail project, the existing metro work in the city and to increase the fleet of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses.
“We specifically ask that mass public transit be the top priority of this GoK (Karnataka government) for full 5 years, so there is accrued benefit to Bengaluru,” the petition read.
“We are counting on you to get this project (EC) shelved immediately. We believe you will have the full backing of a vast majority of the people of Bengaluru,” the petition added.
The ambitious 95-km Bangalore EC project is meant to reduce traffic snarls in the city. It has been under controversy with citizen activists and Bengaluru residents opposing its construction.
The project was proposed by the JDS-Congress government. The BJP, then in Opposition, had criticised the plan. After the BJP came to power, the project was put on hold.
After their meeting with the Deputy CM, a civic activist told indianexpress.com that Ashwathnarayan said the EC project was vying for funds along with several other proposals, such as the various ring roads in the city.
“Ashwathnarayan said that the state government was seriously budget-constrained and was facing challenges in accommodating various projects. He said they will look to PPP (Public-Private Partnership) as a model,” a member of Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) said.