A controversial proposal to build a 6.7-km steel flyover at a cost of Rs 1,791 crore to improve connectivity between Bengaluru city and the highway leading to Kempegowda International Airport has been cancelled by the Congress government in Karnataka following allegations of corruption by the opposition BJP. Environmental concerns raised by citizens are also learnt to have played a role behind the government’s decision.
The move to cancel the project was announced by the Bengaluru Development Minister K J George at a meeting with local MLAs and representatives Thursday.
A formal decision in this regard will be taken at a Cabinet meeting scheduled for March 6.
“Due to the baseless charges made by the opposition and the general public opinion, the government has decided to shelve the steel flyover project. The project was proposed by the BJP when it was in power and now the onus is on them for stalling development,’’ George said.
BJP leader and former CM B S Yeddyurappa has over the past few weeks accused the Congress government of receiving Rs 65 crore in kickbacks for the project. He has claimed that the kickback was recorded in the entries of Congress MLA K Govindaraju’s diary which was seized by I-T authorities in March 2016.
Earlier, the flyover had encountered opposition from the public over a proposal to cut hundreds of trees. The protest was triggered by a local foundation run by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar. “Rajiv Chandrashekhar represents Karnataka but does not want development of the state. He opposed the project because he wants the investment to flow to neighbouring states. The project has been cancelled due to the BJP’s politics too…They should not make wild allegations,” George said.