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Steel Flyover from Rajbhavan to Hebbal - Political Objectives rules over public Utility

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The news about GOK's brazen attempt to go ahead with the 6.7 KM STEEL FLYOVER project connecting Rajbhavan to Hebbal is hogging all the news headlines in past few weeks.. Barring few, everyone from citizens to architects, Urban Planners to Activists are up in arms against this project. But nothing seems to deter the state government from going ahead with the project.

Taking a dispassionate view of the project might need some answers which the GOK has not been able to provide,

1. What is the problem that GOK is trying to solve by constructing a FLYOVER?

2. Where is the Public Consultation process undertaken by the implementing agency BDA?

3. Is there a feasibility study done prior to decision to take up this project? Is it available for public?

4. Is there a DPR done for this project? If yes why isn't available for public scrutiny?

5. Has the state government or BDA done a traffic analysis to account for the future growth?

6. Can the state government fund this project 100% without having to rely on center?

7. Does the feasibility study covers the detailed analysis of alternatives that could mitigate the traffic congestion problem that state govt is trying to solve?

 

If the sole purpose of this project is to decongest the traffic to KIAL airport on Bellary Road, surely state government / BDA has not done its homework well. Well state government should take the blame for not taking up any infrastructure development projects to provide alternate routes in the city to reach KIAL. It has been 8 years since the KIAL airport began its operations, Bellary Road has remained the only access point to KIAL.The bDA/ State government has not taken up the alternate routes like,

1. Via Nagwara Road

2. Via Hennur

3. and starting suburban train services with a Halt at the Trumpet.

Going by the facts available in public domain, there is no justification for this project. As the Union Minister Shri. Gadkari said, flyovers do not solve traffic problems. They do not help reduce congestion, but increase congestion. Ging by the BDA record for unprofessional, flawed designs, even this project has the same future. The ultimate sufferers would be we the ordinary citizens.

Certainly this project is not in public or Bengaluru's interest? Then for whose interest this project is being taken up against the public opinion?

News links

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/steel-flyover-on-airport-road-will-be-a-reality/article8716144.ece

http://www.bangaloremirror.com/bangalore/others/Airport-ride-may-take-longer/articleshow/50722725.cms

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/A-1350-crore-flyover-we-could-do-without/articleshow/52825749.cms

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31806&articlexml=CONNECT-METRO-TO-BIA-Steel-flyover-wont-bridge-21062016004017

http://blog.propgod.com/road-users-woes-on-steel-flyover-at-chalukya-circle-bangalore/

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/552360/bda8200ignored-public-opinion-aesthetics-steel.html

 

Comments

kbsyed61's picture

DH Editorial Opposes this flyover!

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Source - Deccan Herald

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/553432/drop-anti-people-airport-flyover.html

"...The proposed 6.5 km, six-lane steel flyover from Chalukya circle to Hebbal junction in Bengaluru is not just an unwise and wasteful project but one which can do actual harm. This meddles with the natural flow of traffic, which basically is the movement of people, down below. The aim of the flyover is to connect the city’s central business district to the international airport. There were other plans for this which were either dropped or failed.

This too will not help, and should be dropped because it is riddled with problems and deficiencies, and ignores alternatives which are cheaper, better and more viable. There is no public interest involved and it seems other interests were at play when it was given the green signal. Flyovers everywhere have proved that they are no solution to traffic problems. They only shift congestion and chaos from one spot to another. The K R Puram flyover which was once touted as the ultimate remedy for Old Madras Road’s ills has only worsened the gridlock there. The faulty design of Richmond Circle flyover has not solved the problem of congestion faced by connecting roads. The National College flyover was built when there was no need for it and despite local residents’ opposition. The Sirsi Circle too has not helped matters.
 
Both ends of the proposed steel flyover will sink in whirlpools of traffic, the road below will shrink and the approach roads will choke. Experts have voiced their concern over the ill-thought out project. The estimated cost of Rs 1,350 crore is a criminal waste of public money and is too high for a single project of dubious utility, serious side-effects and disruptive consequences. And where will so much money come from? The Central funds have dried up. The people will have to pay for it, which will make it a paid private highway. Public roads and public transport are the best means to beat traffic blues. A venture which throws public transport out of gear and inconveniences the public is not good, and should be opposed. There has been no public debate on a project which costs so much and affects the lives of people in many wrong ways. 
 
The state government is pursuing this project when there is a viable alternative route which can be developed at less cost and will serve the airport and the people better. A multi-mile steel contraption rising over the roads will also spoil the aesthetics of the city.
 
It will be a why in the sky with no good answers. The Congress government, led by Siddaramaiah, should listen to the experts who are stridently opposed to this project, and drop this anti-people project at once. .."
amithpallavoor's picture

Why not a surface level light

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Why not a surface level light rail system/ tram all the way upto the airport on the same route? 

The magix boxes are to be dismantled. The only issue shall be the archaic Mekhri circle underpass and the iconic Windso Manor Underpass.

According to Sudhindra Rao, the person who had authored an article on the feasibility of trams for Bangalore if GOK decides to go for tunnel hybrid train system then the existing structures could be retained and a light rail system could become a reality.

L&T can surely build a light rail system when they can handle Hyderabad's Metro. Now, the question is "How come L&T has quoted so low for the construction of a steel flyover"

 

 

srinidhi's picture

light rail is not 'rapid'

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light rail is not 'rapid' rail..apparently the elite public is craving for rapid transport options only to get to airport..btw provision for metro/PT could have been done while the road/bridge was being constructed to the airport..

that would have saved lot of money upfront..unfortunately our planners are very short sighted..even now they can think of fast access only the airport and not the development of the region around it!

 

amithpallavoor's picture

The project will require

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The project will require chopping of 500 trees on private land. The national college flyover was a disaster for the once verdant Basavanagudi.

The vision group is filled with Elitist chaps who just want elevated roads. Bangalore's so called pride gave us the tenth wonder of the world known as NH7 elevated expressway, which is gridlocked day in and day out. A former CEO of this company does not seem to know the difference between commuter rail and suburban rail and he was looking to win from South Bangalore.

 

Naveen's picture

Long term Perspective

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Why not a surface level light rail system/ tram all the way upto the airport on the same route?

.....and in future, when areas past Yelahanka develop as they most likely will and light rail capacity becomes insufficient, you will be the first to condemn all planners, especially BMRC for not planning full-fledged metro all the way to airport, isn't it ???

btw provision for metro/PT could have been done while the road/bridge was being constructed to the airport..

that would have saved lot of money upfront..unfortunately our planners are very short sighted..even now they can think of fast access only the airport and not the development of the region around it!

Land on the eastern side of the highway had been acquired long back when hi-speed rail was being planned. It is available to be used for metro, which is why GoK is preferring metro extension along Ballari road instead of the Thannisandra-Bagalur route, though it is longer as it will be cheaper.

Elevated viaduct is required only till Bagalur cross after which it can go on surface. Costs for construction /land acquisition for stations can be much cheaper.

amithpallavoor's picture

Naveen, I won't castigate the

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Naveen, I won't castigate the government twenty years now.

Light Rail + Suburban rail shall solve the issues.

The need for metro to Yelahanka shall be obviated if Yeshwanthpur- Yelahanka and BYPL- Channasandra- Yelahanka lines are used optimally.

Yelahanka is being developed as a terminal but the design and planning is not forward looking.

Extension of Nagawara to IIMB line is probably the best way to connect Metro to the airport.

Naveen's picture

Please No Exaggerations

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Light Rail + Suburban rail shall solve the issues.

The need for metro to Yelahanka shall be obviated if Yeshwanthpur- Yelahanka and BYPL- Channasandra- Yelahanka lines are used optimally.

Needlessly exaggerating and inflating capabilities of a suburban rail system in its contribution for the city as a commuting option is plain foolishness. According to your (and most commuter rail proponents') arguments, people from all over Bangalore need to first travel to Yeshwantapur (or Baiyyappanahalli) to proceed to North Bangalore? How many modes of transport and how much time do you expect them to use to reach Yeshwantpur or Baiyyappanahalli?

First walk, then a bus trip and then wait for suburban rail -- totally 60 minutes gone for starters, at the very least ??? Any sane commuter (including all proponents of suburban rail) will of course take a direct bus to Yelahanka instead, if available or prefer even a bus change to save time or a private vehicle rather than delays with suburban rail travel, wouldn't they ???

But people argue because its in their wish list, though they have no idea about what a suburban rail system is and equate everything about it to how Mumbai uses its rail services despite the two cities being completely dissimilar.

Suburban rail die-hards need to first understand that Mumbai is a linear city;

that ribbon development occurred along rail routes there in only one or two directions due to lack of space and this resulted in ever increasing commuting distances to and from the city;

that such high frequencies with huge capacities cannot be replicated in other cities due to track limitations;

that suburban trains in all other circular cities can only assist for long distance commutes for some people that live close to stations or to and from nearby towns;

that it never can have very high capacities nor reach like customised routes of metro trains;

that suburban rail is severely constrained by route limitations, access, etc.

So, please...

Extension of Nagawara to IIMB line is probably the best way to connect Metro to the airport.

See my new post explaining why extension of Nagawara line to KIAL is NOT the best option.

amithpallavoor's picture

As a like for like

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As a like for like comparison, let us look at Bangalore vs. Delhi. The presence of a vast metro network has not meant that the demand for regional rail has died down.

Secondly, the larger suburban network which takes helps people travel from Delhi to towns as far as Rewari is still quite popular.  Ring railway may not be popular but this network is popular.

Thirdly, do you want people to continue to suffer the traffic woes while travelling to Whitefield, ORR, Bidadi, GVC and wait endlessly while continuously saying,"Metro Baruthe, Metro baruthe." I don't see a reason as to why residents of Vijayanagar, RR Nagar, Byappanhalli, Whitefield can not use trains,which are being run from SBC to Mandya or from SBC to Bangarpet to reach their destination. Residents of these localities also have the option of Metro. 

In most localities Metro runs parallel to rail lines across the length and breadth of the city. This can be the case with some localities but not all localities. 

Areas like Magadi Road or Sadashivanagar can't be reached through Metro or suburban even after Phase two is complete. I thought Metro would chiefly connect areas, which could not be reached through suburban rail. How does a man living in Jayanagar but working in MG Road reach his office?  Does he travel by Metro and change over at Majestic or would he drive to his office? The latter is easier. Better co-ordination and planning between SWR and BMRCL could have avoided issues such as these. 

I don't see a reason as to why connectivity to areas such as Yelahanka and Cantonment can't be achieved through suburban rail.

Multimodal transport exists worldwide and people don't seem to have a problem shifting from one mode to another. This seems to be a problem in India particularly Bangalore where every agency operates on a silo.

 

Naveen's picture

Need to Understand Distinction

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The presence of a vast metro network has not meant that the demand for regional rail has died down.

In most localities Metro runs parallel to rail lines across the length and breadth of the city.

Delhi's rail tracks are parallel to metro at far more locations than Bangalore. Examples: Entire green line from Kirtinagar /Inderlok to Mundka - 17.7km; Red line from Inderlok to Dilshad garden - 24.4km; Blue line from Rajiv Chowk to Vaishali - 28.7km; Yellow line from Azadpur to Samypur Badli - 6.0km, etc.).
 
The existence of regional /suburban /commuter rail tracks (that are meant for longer /faster commutes with trains running at low frequency) does not mean that metro in parallel is not needed. Every city in India (including Bangalore) & almost all cities elsewhere in the world will also have similar parallel tracks, if not already.
 
Sorry, but you are still not able to distinguish suburban rail from metro rail and assuming that every city's rail transit must be identical to the high-capacity commuter trains in Mumbai that mostly use dedicated tracks. This is not possible in other cities. Fyi, even Mumbai's metro lines are planned parallelly due to capacity constraints with their present rail system.
 
And if as you say Delhi's regional rail trains are well patronized despite metro, the corollory to be drawn is that there is need for both in parallel. Delhi has severe road traffic congestion as well, in addition.
 
So, please do not keep repeating your argument of parallel tracks any more as they both are a necessity.
Areas like Magadi Road or Sadashivanagar can't be reached through Metro or suburban even after Phase two is complete. I thought Metro would chiefly connect areas, which could not be reached through suburban rail.
So, you expect metro to connect every locality without suburban tracks in just two phases? Fyi New York subway is 112 years old and is still building new lines within Manhattan (Example: 2nd Avenue subway). London Underground, over 150 years old, is still expanding. Nearer home, Delhi metro is also expanding in central Delhi despite 200+ km. So, don't expect the impossible only from Banaglore's metro.
How does a man living in Jayanagar but working in MG Road reach his office?  Does he travel by Metro and change over at Majestic or would he drive to his office? The latter is easier.
The man from Jayanagar would use metro via Majestic for his peak hour journeys as road commute will take him much longer. He may choose to drive on weekends when traffic is lesser.
I don't see a reason as to why connectivity to areas such as Yelahanka and Cantonment can't be achieved through suburban rail.

Multimodal transport exists worldwide and people don't seem to have a problem shifting from one mode to another. This seems to be a problem in India particularly Bangalore where every agency operates on a silo.

I agree Gok has been sleeping on suburban rail for decades. It can be of utility to some as few trains can be run on available tracks but SWR has been claiming that their tracks are already over-crowded.
amithpallavoor's picture

A few trains and track

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A few trains and track congestion? I don't know what SWR speaks about and how can you say that a few trains will help. SWR's babus are the most inefficient lot in railways. We were better off under Southern railway when trains were being run to HAL and Bangarpet.

When was the last time that they carried out any significant infrastructure upgrade notwithstanding the Binny Mills issue!

It is true that SBC is beyond redemption because of its inherent design flaws and it would have to demolished before we even start to think of running local trains at frequent intervals. This is not going to happen.

Bangalore needs terminals in all the four directions and these termnals need to be planned with a 100 year vision so that it could accomodate local trains and also act as a multi modal hub. It is next to impossible to travel to a super congested Majestic on any long weekend. Most things seem to start and end with KBS and SBC in Bangalore as it used in the 70s. 

GOK proposed a modified suburban railway for Bangalore. So, why does not GOK and Railways get together and act on that? BYPL- Channsandra- YNK-KIAL line is underutilized and I don't see an issue with local trains being run on this line. The modified proposal also looks at local trains from BYPL to WFD. What it means is Whitefield gets connected to KIAL quite easily. Imagine driving on this stretch vis Marathalli, KR Puram and ORR, which is just horrible. I hope the railway engineers don't mess up the pretty BYPL station with their flawed design during the course of expansion.

Jnanabharathi station is conveniently located on Mysore road and there is a lot of land around the station unlike Kengeri which has no scope for expansion. It is also not that easy to reach that station. Do GOK and Railways want to kill Namma Railu even before it starts?

 

 
amithpallavoor's picture

Delhi is getting a Maglev

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Delhi is getting a Maglev based Regional Rail in addition to Metro. Metro is swanky and comfortable but it does not solve every problem as Sreedharan would want us to believe.

GOI and Kejri''s govt are also looking at reviving Delhi's ring railway to reduce the dependence on road transport. Phase Three of Metro has made 35 KM Ring railway much more accessible. This is in addition to the larger suburban railway, which operates trains to nearby towns. Trams are being planned in old city although Kejri and his minions are indulging in shenanigans to have this blocked.

Where is this kind of planning in Bangalore? We have incompetent transport ministers in Karnataka who think DULT and transport ministry is all about KSRTC and BMTC. It does not matter if that person is from BJP/ Congress.

 

 

Naveen's picture

Delhi is the imperial seat

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BYPL- Channsandra- YNK-KIAL line is underutilized and I don't see an issue with local trains being run on this line. The modified proposal also looks at local trains from BYPL to WFD. What it means is Whitefield gets connected to KIAL quite easily.

Tracks are being doubled and hope we see some trains on this route soon. However, it won't attract air travelers, especially those with luggage as there will be too many transfers from auto /taxi to train and again bus /taxi from trumpet to KIAL.

Delhi is getting a Maglev based Regional Rail in addition to Metro.

Where is this kind of planning in Bangalore? We have incompetent transport ministers in Karnataka who think DULT and transport ministry is all about KSRTC and BMTC.

Delhi has a dispropotionately large amount of assistance from GoI. See this article. And GoK is a weakling in as far as extracting GoI assistance is concerned. Agree their planning for transport infra in the city has been very poor.

amithpallavoor's picture

Delhi maybe the imperial seat

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Delhi maybe the imperial seat but that does not stop GOK from planning.

KIAL was more than prepared to build a monorail from Trumpet to KIAL. It was GOK and SWR, who bungled.

Why are you so averse to the idea of suburban rail via KIAL to Chikkaballapur/ Kolar? It does not have to be dedicated for airport users. The ground staff could use this. There are a lot of industries around the airport and in Chikkballapur who could make use of local trains if elitist Bangaloreans travlling to the airport find it below their dignity to use suburban train.

Doubling the age old rail link between Kolar and Chikkaballapur could boost economic growth in an otherwise backward area of Old Mysore. Kolar has quite a few industries and it could well emerge as Bangalore's satellite town. Bangalore could also learn a thing or two about waste management from Kolar.

Doubling the link between Kolar and Bangarpet could well mean that we could have services from Yelahanka via BYPL to Kolar and from Yelahanka to Kolar via KIAL/ Chikkaballapur. 

I don't think any of our politicians have any intention to build satellite towns. They just want to look at Bangalore as a golden goose. They will ultimately end up killing Bangalore.

 

Naveen's picture

Problems With Suburban Rail

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I'm not averse to suburban line to Chikkaballapur via KIAL, or any other suburban line for that matter. Its just that if operated the way it stands by just running trains without any other parallel developments, it hugely risks failure due to poor integration with bus except at some key stations - Majestic, Baiyyappanahalli, Yeshwantapur, Nayandahalli, Whitefield & the new station being built at Hoodi. None of the other stations have good access for commuters.
 
What is needed is for substantial land to be acquired at various stations, new stations planned at the many "commuter heavy" points, additional tracks built, bus halts provided nearby, roads to stations widened, pedestrian facilities and parking spaces provided etc.
 
When we had prepared the 'Call To Action' report for 'Namma Railu', we had deeply studied these aspects but I had noted then itself that all these were going to be an almost impossible task due to overly built up areas in the central business districts like along the Majestic-Cant-B'lore East line or the Majestic-Yeshwatapur or Hebbal-Baiyyappanahalli routes.
 
Unless CBDs have convenient & accessible stations (the "work horse" stations of the system which will have huge commuter loads), the system will not be useful to most & runs the risk of failure. As it is, it has huge route and access limitations, unlike a metro system. Even the metro system has cut corners with bus integration at many places due to soaring land acquisition costs, but it has the benefit of customised routes along busy roads.
 
I'll give an example - Chennai's elevated MRTS system that avoided land acquisition problems & was routed along the buckingham canal & failed miserably, carrying a mere 9000 passengers when it was assumed by planners that it would have 6 lakh commuters. After integration with the much older, established suburban system at Velacherry, its numbers improved marginally but it is still carrying just 1 lakh. Further extension & integration with metro at St.Thomas Mt has run into serious land acquisition problems.
 
These are the very same issues that plague Bangalore's suburban rail network - insufficient number of stations in CBDs & impossible to develop any new ones, though tracks pass through some CBDs.
 
Airport users are not daily airport commuters. A trip to airport for an air passenger is typically only once a month for even frequent fliers, much lesser for others. Such commuters are not going to use a suburban train that involves multiple transfers - & not every air passenger resides at Whitefield. The airport trip being occasional, travelers will obviously not mind spending more for the trip & save themselves the inconvenience of multiple transfers & time by using the vajra bus or a taxi.
 
KIAL employees would be spread across the city & I doubt any live in Whitefield at all. None of the employees are going to use metro to Baiyyappanahalli & then suburban rail as there is excessive wastage of commuting time & involves multiple transfers, besides last mile issues for KIAL. They will prefer the more convenient bus, even if it takes long.
 
GoK has decided to have trains only in outskirts to overcome problems with crowded tracks to minimize additional trains within CBDs that have few stations, but I think such truncated services will reduce ridership even further.
 
The key strength of a suburban system is faster commutes over longer distances, & if long commutes are cut short outside city & people forced to use metro, they will not see much point in using suburban trains as it doesn't get them to city center. They will prefer buses that can get them to the middle of the city without any transfer, though it may take longer.
amithpallavoor's picture

I agree with you. We have

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I agree with you. We have seen failures of Delhi Ring Railway and MRTS beecause of lack of integration.

Under the current circumstances it is next to impossible to build stations within CBD. However, a few stations still have land for development to be carried out.

Jnanbharathi lies in close proximity to the proposed metro station and there is a lot of government land around the station to carry out development.

It is not about airport, there a lot of industries in Chikkaballapur and Kolar and most of the people working here find it difficult to reach their work place. Do we build a metro to these towns to solve commuting issues?

Proper integration fo suburban rail with metro shall ensure that people shall use trains instead of buses. What is required is proper integration and co-ordination and not operation in Silos!

Naveen's picture

Railway Operations

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there a lot of industries in Chikkaballapur and Kolar and most of the people working here find it difficult to reach their work place. Do we build a metro to these towns to solve commuting issues?

I can find flwg trains to Chikballapur /Kolar :

From Bangalore:

1) 76551/KSR Bengaluru - Kolar DEMU (Via Chik Ballapur)  (0830-1300 hrs)

2) 76505/Bengaluru Cantt. - Kolar DMU  (1755-2015 hrs)

3) 56525/KSR Bengaluru - Kolar Passenger (UnReserved)  (via Chikballapur, 1810-2100 hrs)

To Bangalore:

1) 56526/Kolar - KSR Bengaluru Passenger (UnReserved)  (via Chikballapur, 0755-0945 hrs)

2) 06596/Chikballapur - Yesvantpur DEMU Special  (1240-1425 hrs)

3) 76552/Kolar - KSR Bengaluru DEMU (Via Chik Ballapur)  (1555-1800 hrs)

 

Proper integration fo suburban rail with metro shall ensure that people shall use trains instead of buses. What is required is proper integration and co-ordination and not operation in Silos!

We know the way Indian railways functions, firmly chained to a low-service, low-priced equilibrium, mired in politics and being used for gaining political advantage, the entrenched focus being more on production rather than service. Rigidities in control, procurement and incremental development due to low financial capacity have all combined and created a formidable barrier to change that is very hard to break. This approach may have been acceptable in the past when majority of passengers were captives interested mainly in low fares, but this is no longer the case now.

The new central govt has just announced that future rail budgets would be included as part of the main budget, thus delinking railways from politics to some extent, for a start. The focus to unshackle railways from outdated heirarchial practices will take time and sustained effort, but there is some recognition of the need for change. The arrival of metro systems has further eroded public perceptions in suburban rail systems whilst providing opportunities for certifying of metro rail systems by officials from railways to take pot shots and also for railways to demand their "pound of flesh" for right of ways, permissions, etc making co-operation a one way street, generally.

The dilemma for GoK has been to deal with Bangalore's heavy traffic congestion on top priority through a metro rail system whilst adopting a strategy of pressing for a suburban rail service through the railways, time-consuming as it is bound to be (as per past experiences country-wide - including various phases of MUTP-Mumbai and MMTS-Hyderabad, let alone other informal systems). GoK, not owning nor having much say combined with the realities of an insufficient and highly restrictive city rail network has only relegated the suburban system to one of lower priority, "whenever it comes through".

In the ensemble that may evolve with changes over efflux of time, it can only be hoped that it evolves primarily in public interest and results in better co-operation between state and railways, though so far there has been no co-ordination, yet.

amithpallavoor's picture

Six trains per day shall

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Six trains per day shall solve the problem?

 

Naveen's picture

Not Enough Commuters

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Six trains per day shall solve the problem?

See table below, extracted from 2012 RITES report on suburban Rail. These numbers may have increased now, but the point is that commuters are meagre (a mere 1500 in 2012).

The only way commuter numbers can be increased is to have more stations within CBDs & also at commuter points along the route with bus halts also added. Extracts of recommended additional stations made are on table below. Item-3 is Yelahanka-Chikballapur (all new stations recommended are shaded in brown).

 

amithpallavoor's picture

I have read this report. But

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I have read this report. But has GOK/Railways made an effort to understand the travel woes of people working in Chikkballapur Industrial estate?

Has this option been marketed to the likes of ACC, Praxair, Mitsubishi, Raymonds, Pricot, Titan, Archid Ply who have units in this district. Did RITES or Call to Action report by IISC consider these units as a catchment sector for suburban rail?

My bad Praxair is in Doddaballapur. Mr. Anuj Sharma, CEO of Praxair was the Chairman of BCIC till recently and he still is one of the biggest votaries of suburban rail for Bangalore.

It is the manufacturing sector and the student community, which is the backbone of suburban rail in both Chennai and Mumbai. The elitist IT crowd of Bangalore can wait for Metro till 2046.  Till then, they can keep asking for elevated roads.

Bangalore will be doomed by then.

Naveen's picture

Stop the Diatribe

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It isn't relevant for Suburban Rail if there is an elitiist IT crowd in Bangalore or if they want to wait for Metro till 2046 or whenever - its their choice anyway.

Praja is a citizens' group committed to the city as a whole. The objective of the 'Call To Action' report was for advocating Commuter Rail System for the city as a whole, not in isolation merely for Chikkballapur Industrial estate or any other such singular cause.

The likes of ACC, Praxair, Mitsubishi, Raymonds, Pricot, Titan, Archid Ply etc need to make their case heard to GoK, if their employees are really facing the commuting issues that you claim. If one of their CEO's has been BCIC chair person, I'm sure he would have tried his best & may be this is the reason why there are trains running to Chikballapur, commensurate with the number of travelers.

I hope you are capable of understanding that it isn't possible to keep running empty trains to Chikballapur & back or anywhere else for that matter just because tracks exist, hoping that city congestion somehow disappearsFurther, your repeated talk of doomedsday scenarios makes no sense and isn't going to change anything as explained in several posts above.

And BTW the 'Call To Action' report was prepared by Praja. Prof.Sitaram, head of CiStup /IISC at that time had endorsed it by writing the forward.

amithpallavoor's picture

This is not a diatribe. There

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This is not a diatribe. There seems to be a feeling amongst the IT crowd of Bangalore that they are the only ones contributing to Bangalore's economy. The manufacturing and financial services segment also contribute to the city's economy if not equally.

We see the same set of IT Head Honchos who believe in elevated roads advising the government on every trivial issue. I don't blame them as they do not understand the problems of the proletariat. The government loves to mollycoddle them as well.

On the other hand, we have also seen the current regime handle every manufacturing investment coming into the state with a certain degree of insouciance and high handedness. So in  all probablity, Anuj Sharma's pleas must have fallen on deaf ears. I suppose, the government does not believe in decentralized economic growth and diversification of economy. Bombay Rayon in Doddaballapur closed down because of poor industrial climate. They were also frustrated with the fact that GOK was not wanting to do anything about it. Toyota, Bosch and Marco Polo have also faced issues because of poor industrial climate. 70% of auto ancillary industries in Belgaum are in trouble. Are Siddhu and Deshpande aware of this fact?

Nobody is questiong the credentials of people who prepared the call to action report but I have my doubts as to whether the impact of manufacturing on suburban rail has been taken into consideration. Most of the units that I have mentioned were commissioned quite recently much after the report came out. This is not an attempt to castigate efforts of committed people but a mere query. 

I don't see a vox populi for Namma Railu unless and until we involve the manufacturing sector and of course the student community. The typical IT junta do not want this neither do they understand the benefits of suburban rail. One needs to read discussions and posts on Whitefield Rising, which are all about Metro and elevated roads.

Chikkaballapur along with Tumkur could see a lot of manufacturing growth in the comiing years. That is the reason for using this town as a reference point. I also don't see a problem with developing Kolar and Bangarpet as satellite towns of Bangalore.  There are inherent problems with developing the Mysore road stretch because of issues with acquisition of irrigated and rain fed farm land.

The doomsday prediction was given by IISC. I am not trying to play the proverbial Cassandra here. Given the pace of Metro's construction I don't think Metro Phase three will be complete even after 20 years. 32 kms in ten years. One just needs to extrapolate.

I rest my case. We have digressed from the issue of steel flyover.

 

 

 

 

 

Naveen's picture

Agreed about IT crowd

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Agreed about IT crowd imagining that they are the only ones contributing to city economy, their head honchos gunning for elevated roads, flyovers etc and the nonsense by govt, steel flyover is but one example. Also, agree about whitefield - I don't approve of their high handedness either.

 

However, could you explain and provide sources for following:

1) KIAL willing to build a monorail?

2) Bombay rayon closing down due to "poor industrial climate"?

3) Toyota, Bosch and Marco Polo facing "issues because of poor industrial climate"?

4) "70% of auto ancillary industries in Belgaum are in trouble"? Not sure about Belgaum but Dharwad has attracted lot investment in auto industries.

 

See the following reports that do not support what you say:

Honda 2wheelers to invest Rs 600 cr in karnataka plan expansion

TVS gets green signal from GoK to expand Mysuru facility

Toyota starts new engine facility in Bengaluru

Light Combat Vehicle Production Unit in Dharwad on the Cards

PM Narendra Modi to lay foundation of HAL's helicopter facility Sunday in Karnataka

 

There have been many other industrial investments as well. Eg. Aequs /API SEZ in Belgaum.

amithpallavoor's picture

I do not have the link to the

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I do not have the link to the state of industries in Belgaum, which I read a couple of months back. I shall share it as soon as I obtain the link.

amithpallavoor's picture

The information perataining

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The information perataining to monorail was given to me by Praja members who met the erstwhile management.  I was not part of the meeting. This could be true.

I am not sure of what is Fairfax's view on Monorail.

amithpallavoor's picture

The halt railway station

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The halt railway station shall be of no use if there is no monorail from the trumpet flyover to the terminal.

There is nothing wrong in having more than one rail network to KIAL provided it serves the need of not just airport users but also people working in and around the airport.

Bring in the investment to Chikkaballapur and Kolar and develop these areas as satellite towns. The demand for suburban rail  shall automatically be there. 

Given the lower cost of living and lower pollution levels, I would not mind relocating if the government provides jobs in these towns and works on basic infra.

 

Naveen's picture

Industry - no cause for panic

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You provided several links, but there is only one exit - Triumph, that too related to land problems. And it isn't always possible to get every industry established in the state for various reasons, some will be lost like it is with every state. However, from links that I posted, there are many positive indications that GoK is not taking a back seat. Surely there is no cause for alarm or panic.

If there is concern, its only the traffic woes of Bangalore, but excessive and unwarranted road expansion is no solution.

Industrial unrest happens in many units. I don't think GoK can be held responsible for them nor does it need their intereference, unless things cannot be resolved. As of now, Tata's unit in Dharwad and Toyota have restarted production without govt interference.

Belgaum was never an auto hub. So, if auto units aren't doing well, it isn't any surprise. Perhaps they would do better in Dharwad or Narsapura which has auto manufacturing units.

I don't think praja members are aware of any information perataining to monorail. It may have been just a proposal made by some praja members for resolving issues to have suburban rail to airport.

Naveen's picture

Reality is Different

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Nothing wrong with having many rail connections to KIAL but they must have riders, not empty coaches. And monorail is not a necessity between KIAL & trumpet. Buses can do the same job even better with no investment. Besides, when metro is built right up to airport, that can also be used between trumpet and KIAL.

Chikballapur and Kolar are already satellite towns, as are Dodballapur, Nelamangala, Tumkur, Bidadi, Jigani, Anekal, Sarjapur, Malur etc and there are industries and jobs in these towns.

Thus your argument: "Bring in the investment to Chikkaballapur and Kolar and develop these areas as satellite towns" seems only to argue the case for suburban rail when stats don't support it, unfortunately. 1.5 lakhs is not sufficient to justify even 50km, let alone a 440km network.

amithpallavoor's picture

The argument that 1.5 lakhs

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The argument that 1.5 lakhs does not justify the economics for suburban rail does not hold good when one applies the logic that there could be investments in the future in these towns and there could a clamour for suburban rail in the future. Investors would also look at this aspect when they invest in a new place.

People would not mind living in Bangalore or working in Chikkaballapur or vice versa. Today one is forced to relocate to Bangalore because of the issues related to commuting.

The poor infrastructure within these towns and the lack of transport options do not qualify it to be a good option for anyone to relocate from Bangalore at this point of time. Tumkur and Mandya maybe exceptions. Just having a few industries does not mean one could relocate to these towns and they serve as satellite towns of Bangalore. There is no attempt to promote investments in these towns. The industries in these towns exist despite GOK and BESCOM.

Infrastructure is created with the future in mind as well. Namma Metro is looking to solve the problems of 1990s. This shall be the problem with these towns in the future as well.
 
I don't hear a whimper of protest when high speed rail is planned between Mumbai and Ahmedabad but people have a problem with 8500 crore investment for suburban rail.

Is it possible for a normal factory worker to even think of living in Bangalore today?  I don't need to elaborate on the economic benefits, which could suburban rail could bring.

NCR has has the best possible planning in terms of satellite towns. But connectivity remains an issue there as well not just the movement between Delhi and these towns but also last mile connectivity within these towns.

 

 

Naveen's picture

1990s problems need solving 1st

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First you suggested (incorrectly) that industries are in dire straits in the state. Now you talk about industries that may come up in satellite towns in the future and the need for increasing suburban rail frequencies now itself to cater to that future, even if they run empty. We are yet to solve Bangalore's problems, which you state belong to the 1990s. Isn't it wiser to solve existing problems than to seek solutions for non-existing ones or ones assumed to become problems of the future?
Naveen's picture

Let us solve current problems 1st

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Problems of the future can be addressed in the future. We do not need to burden ourselves with them now since we are seized of more urgent issues. Hi-speed rail in India is going to take long & nothing wrong in pursuing it. Fast inter-city train travel can benefit the nation greatly & there will be no dearth of passengers, unlike suburban rail. As and when needed in the future, suburban rail will most certainly keep expanding.
amithpallavoor's picture

http://www.thehindu.com/n...

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http://www.thehindu.com/n...

http://www.thehindu.com/n...

This debt is Siddha and Yeddy's contribution to Karnataka's economy. Whether you accept it or not Karnataka's politicians react and get things done only when pushed by the Industry.

The growth of 7% could have been much higher had Siddha and his colleagues been pro active.

Do the ministers of GOK have any economic vision bar maybe a Krishna Byre Gowda? The problem with Krishna Byre Gowda is that he talks a lot and does precious little. All other colleagues of his have a very poor understanding of economics.

Even a Captain Amrinder Singh seems very erudite when compared to the likes of Siddha, DVS, Shettar and Yeddy.

If you are keen on playing the devil's adovocate and showing a proclivity to hailing the badly executed Namma Metro, then good luck to you.

I don't think GOK has a case considering the way the disgruntled goons of some of MLAs and sacked ministers behaved after the cabinet reshuffle.

Siddha has time only to protect his seat and create a lot of friction between the erstwhile JD(S) and native Congressmen. He has no time to think about the state.

By the way, I personallly know a lot of people from Tumkur and Chikkaballapur who stay in Bangalore because of the commuting issues.

It is a shame that the babus of GOK have not solved issues pertaining to 1990s even in 2016. I don't see any increase in pace of metro construction. They shall continue to find excuses like we hit hard roock, we found under water spring and the hoi-polloi of Bangalore shall continue to bear and grin and keep saying "Metro baruthe, Metro baruthe."

Adios!

 

 

Naveen's picture

Sorry, but I am not going to

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Sorry, but I am not going to join any bashing when I know (& have patiently explained) why very frequent suburban trains are hard to operate, as of now. Metro has taken very long, but many of the long delays were beyond BMRC's control. I'm not surprised that you have a closed mind and say that whatever reason they state are all "excuses". At least pass on what I explained to those who you know personallly from Tumkur and Chikkaballapur who stay in Bangalore because of commuting issues. I'm sure they might try to understand things better. Bye!!
amithpallavoor's picture

You would do well not to

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You would do well not to resort to bracketing a person as being close minded when you have not even met that person. 

I was well aware of the issues that you have made a mention of and I pretty well know that Bangalore at the most could have a LC/ LB (Lucknow) kind of a system. 

I stand by views on KA's politicians and Namma Metro. I am sure a lot of people have the same view.

Enjoy the rides in grid locked Bangalore!

Au Revoir and Good Luck!

 

Naveen's picture

Already Well Aware...Yet?

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If you were already well aware of the issues, why do you still keep clamouring for more trains when ridership is so poor? In what way will those trains help in reducing congestion in grid-locked Bangalore?

LC/ LB (Lucknow) kind of a system? I presume you meant Lucknow-Kanpur suburban rail. Both Lucknow and Kanpur are very large cities with population 29+ lakhs (as per 2011 census) and only 72km apart. Despite these large populations close by, they have only eleven suburban trains between them daily. This apart, they have 84 long distance trains that stop at both stations, as per indiarailinfo.

In comparison, Mysore is the only city of any size closest to Bangalore with population of 9.9 lakhs & has 26 daily trains, which is comparable.

Other nearby town populations are all too small: Tumkur - 3.0 lakhs, Chikballapur - 0.6 lakhs, Dodballapur - 0.9 lakhs, Anekal - 0.4 lakhs, Ramanagara - 1.0 lakhs, Channapatna - 0.7 lakhs, Nelamangala - 0.4 lakhs.

I might agree about KA politicians being too slow & lethargic, but I don't agree that the state lags behind in industry.

And lot of people bashing BMRC is no reason that others also must join and bash without knowing ground realities in full. People bash because of the traffic more than anything else. BMRC is still meeting the challenges despite very tough terrain which is the subject of many tunnelling articles.

Sanjeev's picture

BDA seeks public opinion on steel flyover

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To share your point of view, call SHivashankar / BDA  : 9845630131 or write to eo1ta2@gmail.com

The Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) on Monday invited suggestions from citizens on the proposed six-lane steel bridge that will connect Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal grade separator.

The BDA said Larsen and Tubro and Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd have participated in the tender process and so far, Larsen and Tubro has quoted the lowest rates. However, the tender is yet to be finalized, the agency said. Passing through Mehkri Circle, the bridge will be constructed using a new technology and will be made of steel and concrete as this has been found to be appropriate for sustainable development and pollution-free environment, it said.

BDA said the process could be completed in a comparatively less time. According to the Institute For Steel Development and Growth, an associate organization of the directorate of steels, government of India, building a steel bridge will ensure minimum sound pollution in surrounding areas.Before undertaking the project, the BDA prepared the estimates based on item rates approved by the PWD for 2014-15 and obtained administrative and technical sanction for Rs 1,350 crore.

http://epaperbeta.timesof...

murali772's picture

Steel-Flyover-Beda campaign

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The media, more particularly the Social media, has been full of the proposed "Raj Bhavan - Hebbal steel flyover" for the past week (Now, though the debate over the subject had started in this blog in June, it meandered off it for a while, and I am now trying to bring it back on course, rather than start a fresh blog. There's another one on the same subject accessible here, and yet another on the Hudson circle to Minerva circle Steel bridge proposal accessible here).

In this connection, I received the following appeal mailed out by a member on the Citizens Against Steel Flyover (CASFO) group:

Hello friend!

As you know, the Government of Karnataka is ramming through a 1791 cr. monstrosity called the Steel Flyover from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal to save 7 minutes of airport commute time several years from now.

To keep it simple:

It is for VIPs only. Benefits less than 1% daily commuters! 50,000 airport goers may use it daily while over 50 lakh bus commuters suffer through the worst congestion in KR Puram, Marathahalli, Outer Ring Road, Whitefield and Silk Board.

It is unduly expensive. Costs Rs 266 cr per km as per their 6.7 km announcement. Urban experts have publicly said that 2 small flyovers at Windsor Manor & Cauvery totalling 50 cr would solve the problem!

It is unnecessary. Two existing alternate roads to the airport could be developed, metro extended and Namma Railu linked, all for a fraction of this cost!


It is suspicious. The construction plan is NOT made public. All RTIs seeking details on the flyover and plan been refused citing non availability. Elected Metropolitan Planning Committee sanction has not ben obtained per due process!

Its safety may be questionable. The BDA has no skills, experience or expertise in engineering with steel and yet they are entrusted with executing this!

It is an abomination. Destroys 812 full grown trees and heritage homes instead of pursuing alternatives for cheaper, faster, less intrusive solutions.

We must oppose this and ensure that the right solutions are found using due democratic process with experts and citizens.

Many prominent citizens including Prakash Belawadi, Naresh Narasimhan, Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, Srinivas Alavilli, Tara Krishnaswamy, Muralidhar Rao, Sridhar Pabbisetty, Deepthi Sudheendra, Aravindakshan VK, and others, have come together for this singular purpose under Citizens Against Steel Flyover (CASFO).


We are organising a human chain on Sunday 16 October at 8 am. Please see the attached poster for details. We are counting on your presence in large numbers to send a clear message to the Government. Click here to join the event:
http://bit.ly/steelflyoverbeda

Bengaluru is YOUR city and you owe it your support. You must refuse to let irresponsible and vested political interests ruin YOUR Bengaluru. Say NO to the destruction of YOUR beautiful Bengaluru. Come join YOUR Citizens Against Steel Flyover team in the human chain.

CASFo Co-ordinator:
Srinivas Alavilli 9945402662 <winbackindia@gmail.com>


Well, I too am part of the group (though not as active as the many out there), and I am opposing it from following points of view (in addition to what has been stated in the above appeal):

1) There was no public consultation. Even with some three RTI attempts by the NBF team, BDA refused to give even the bare details, even though a decision appears to have been taken as far back as in Nov 2014 (check here)

2) Projects of such size and having such impact, have, as a policy, necessarily to be decided by an empowered UMTA (Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority), under MPC (Metropolitan Planning Committee - check here and here), and not by some ad-hoc vision group.

3) Going by the steel tonnage figures dished out, Prof Sitaram of IISc has commented that the design appears to allow for passage of only cars, and not buses (not even KIAL Volvo lot), which is an iniquitous proposition.

4) Having seen the concrete structures for the elevated express-ways (from below) to the new airport terminal in Mumbai, as also Kochi Metro (both constructed by L&T), I feel they can last ages without any maintenance (not even surface plastering). Compared to that, maintenance of Eiffel tower (Paris) includes applying 60 tons of paint every seven years to prevent it from rusting. The tower has been completely repainted at least 19 times since it was commissioned in 1889. The Howrah bridge likewise is given a coat of paint every 5 to 6 years.

5) There can be four different approaches to KIAL, including one via "Commuter Rail" (check here), if the contract with the tolling agency is re-negotiated. The overall costs will be still lesser, and the benefits far higher.

Essentially, perhaps this fight can trigger the movement towards re-structuriung BBMP (perhaps along the lines recommended by the B S Patil committee - check here), empowering MPC and thereby the UMTA, rather than resort to ad-hocism, as we have been repeatedly seeing.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

the BDA disclosure

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With mounting pressure, BDA finally made this document public. But, it raises more questions than it answers.

Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

the solution then?

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Naresh Venkatraman had recently mentioned that the access to Hebbal from the city needs intervention..a 'smarter' 'surgical' intervention..

I have subscribed to this thought too..

Shorter and narrower bridges across critical junctions on the way should be the way to go instead of one big monolithic structure!

amithpallavoor's picture

I see very little hope for

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I see very little hope for Namma Bengaluru.

As our good friend from Washington Khader Syed would say, "We are on the fast lane to disaster."

amithpallavoor's picture

Some RTI queries, which would

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Some RTI queries, which would need to be addressed:

Nature of contract awarded to L&T 

BOOT, EPC or BOT
Revenue sharing agreement if any

CAPEEX and Operational Expenses during construction

Post Construction expenses - Would the Toll Operated bridge be profitable

Details of IRR and Sensitivity Analysis

Payback and NPV period

Pricing formula for Toll

Method of choosing the company for Tender - E Procurement or normal tender

Basis of estimation of PCU - Any primary research done and methodology

Travellers from different areas of the city in numbers and as a percentage of total commuters

 

 

murali772's picture

more on my objections

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An article titled "Steel Flyover issue: Is Bengaluru's Civil Society scoring self goals?" by Balaji Chitra Ganesan had appeared in Citizen Matters (accessible here), largely critical of the opposers. The following was what I attempted to post in response, but failed (the editor informed that there were some technical issues), and consequently, posting here:

My objections are more to the whole approach than this steel bridge by itself. Quite as Kiran Mazumdar Shah has now stated, these piecemeal approaches have to go and we have to have more holistic solutions. Towards that end, we have to first decide, whether we want Bengaluru to develop like Houston/ LA (largely car-centric - Mr Vivek Menon's dream, perhaps), or like London/ New York/ Singapore (largely public transport-centric). Without hesitation, I'd pitch for the latter. I had in fact stated ny vision, along those lines, as far back as in the 80's, as accessible here.

When that's decided, many things then become clearer.

Then comes the matter of genuine public consultation. If the government is convinced of the merits of its proposal, where's the problem in placing it before the public and getting the buy-in? We are now told that the government first came up with this "steel flyover" proposal as far back as in 2010. So, why did it keep all the info on it under wraps all along? Even to queries under RTI, why was it being evasive? Only after some details were made public (under pressure from the people), did it show up that one of the biggest bottlenecks along the stretch, viz the Hebbal junction, was not covered under the scope of the flyover, and then the government had to go back to the drawing boards to include that too. Likewise, there are many other short-comings, particularly with regard to accesses along the way, that Shree and others have pointed out. So, is the govt going to be looking at all of them too? What happens to the overall costs then?


Also, the costs of doing up the road below the flyover, after the main work is completed, is very likely to have been omitted, in order to project a lower cost, leading to such works remaining undone, quite as we have been seeing repeatedly.

Essentially, because of its stealthy ways, governments enjoy very little credibility among the public. The government needs to work on that first.

An interesting thing I noticed in passing, while viewing the traffic simulation video clip (accessible here) the first time, but more clearly now (viewing it on a lap-top) is that the entire structure, as shown in the simulation, appears to be made from concrete, and not steel. Is that by oversight, or is that how it's going to be? If it's going to be concrete, then the construction speed advantage goes out of the window. And, if it's steel, the question of periodical maintenance comes in, on which I have already commented at sl no 4 in my post of 13th Oct (scroll above, to read).

The loss of the 800 odd full grown trees is another heart-rending factor. Worst is the prospect of replacing them with 'ornamental' trees (I'd any day prefer even concrete to those dumb palms).


Considering all of the above, wouldn't it be much better to smoothen out the Begur, Budigere, Dodballapur, Peripheral ring road approaches, apart from "Namma Railu" option (check here ) rather than go for this monstrosity running through the heart of the city, that's going to take away even that last bit of a claim that the city presently has to the title of "garden city"?

Besides, is it going to end with this flyover? There's already the talk of North-South/ East-West Corridors, and what have you. That's where I believe we need to get our vision stated clearly first before venturing out onto such ultra-mega projects.

Muralidhar Rao
amithpallavoor's picture

The opaqueness is all

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The opaqueness is all pervading as far as  this project is concerned.

gbalaji's picture

Is Bengaluru Civil Society scoring self goals?

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Thanks Murali sir for taking the time to respond to my article. Please find my rejoinder.
 

>> My objections are more to the whole approach than this steel bridge by itself. Quite as Kiran Mazumdar Shah has now stated, these piecemeal approaches have to go and we have to have more holistic solutions.


I believe Ms. Shah herself supports elevated corridors. Any long term Mobility plan with such corridors I believe will include this elevated section between Chalukya and Hebbal. Lets not wait for Best to stop the Good. Further, I'm slightly disappointed that BBPAG members (BBPAG was formed in May 2016) are making adverse comments about a project for which funds were allocated by the Karnataka Assembly in the 2014-15 budget. Page 92, section 328 unambiguously says:

328. Construction of Elevated Corridor from Basaveshwara Circle (Chalukya Circle) to Hebbal Junction at a cost of Rs. 1100 crore will be taken up.

Its under BDA line items. 

http://www.finance.kar.ni...

I leave it to the wisdom of the Praja if civil society members should ask govt to second guess the Karnataka Assembly, formed by the will of the Praja.


>> Towards that end, we have to first decide, whether we want Bengaluru to develop likeHouston/ LA (largely car-centric - Mr Vivek Menon's dream, perhaps), or like London/ New York/ Singapore (largely public transport-centric).

I don't believe its a choice. We have to live in reality. Bengaluru is India's 3rd largest metropolitan area, with people having decent disposable income. Number of private vehicles are going to increase, no matter what some people wish. Govt has to address reality rather than wishful thinking. Still, I lived in Los Angeles for two years and used Rapid (on Wilshire) and Santa Monica Blue bus for office commute. I can assure you, Bengaluru is no way as bad as LA and it never will be.

We should aim to be Paris/NYC?London in 20 years time. But in the next 20 years, we should try to be Phoenix/Kualalumpur. Please see how I10 and I17 along with ring roads, make Phoenix the mirror of Bengaluru. All freeway criss cross the city and are elevated or below surface. It also has a long tunnel. I wish we can build a tunnel from Chalukya to Richmond road, but I don't think we can afford. Take a look at Kualalumpur too.


>> Then comes the matter of genuine public consultation. If the government is convinced of the merits of its proposal, where's the problem in placing it before the public and getting the buy-in? We are now told that the government first came up with this "steel flyover" proposal as far back as in 2010. So, why did it keep all the info on it under wraps all along? Even to queries under RTI, why was it being evasive?

This is completely false and only shows the praja as lazy. This flyover has been common knowledge to anyone following news. As linked above, its on the 2014-15 budget speech itself with 1100 crore allocated. If Praja is not paying attention to 1100 crore spending, what to say? All tender documents have completely public on govt e-procurement website. You can now read every document here: http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/bda-steel-flyover-tender-documents Expecting BDA to be great at communication is too much. They are getting better after this controversy. https://twitter.com/BDABLR/with_replies

>> Only after some details were made public (under pressure from the people), did it show up that one of the biggest bottlenecks along the stretch, viz the Hebbal junction, was not covered under the scope of the flyover, and then the government had to go back to the drawing boards to include that too.

This is again totally unfair criticism. BDA had planned solutions for Hebbal Junction long before the steel flyover approval. This should have been obvious to anyone reading newspapers. 1. Underpass on ORR under Hebbal Flyover, 2. Demolishing slip road towards Nagawara and making that traffic go left and take the underpass. 3. New flyover from Nagawars side to Airport side descending at Esteem mall. 4. Extra lane on the main carriageway of the flyover. There were all planned long ago and the work was inaugurated by Bengaluru Development Minister in May 2016. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/544027/work-upgrading-hebbal-flyover-begins.html

All along the plan was to let Steel Flyover traffic descend before Hebbal junction and fix the latter as above. Now responding to public suggestions, BDA has even provided a solution to integrate steel flyover with Hebbal flyover. This only a plan btw. Not DPR. Decision rests with Govt. BDA is doing its job well on this instance. http://bdabangalore.org/INTEGRATION%20PLAN%20(17-10-2016).pdf

>> Likewise, there are many other short-comings, particularly with regard to accesses along the way, that Shree and others have pointed out. So, is the govt going to be looking at all of them too? What happens to the overall costs then?

I have replied to Shree's comments after comments problem was fixed. Please see: http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/bengaluru-steel-flyover-advantages According to me, no changes are needed to address Shree's concerns.


>> Also, the costs of doing up the road below the flyover, after the main work is completed, is very likely to have been omitted, in order to project a lower cost, leading to such works remaining undone, quite as we have been seeing repeatedly.

This seems true. I fully agree. Frankly this is the only intelligent objection I have heard in the entire controversy. Murali sir, you are smart :)

>> Steel vs Concrete

I have no hard position on steel vs concrete. If BDA believes Steel Flyover is possible, I don't want to suspect their claims. I don't have the expertise either. BDA built modern Bengaluru! Lets give them that. I heard concerns about tonnage and cost esclation because of piers also being steel. I would also like to know more and see BDA respond to such criticism.

>> Trees

Please. New trees can be planted. Lets protest to plant any tree, any number, any where as compensation. Millions of people in North Bengaluru are lot more important than 800 trees.

>> Besides, is it going to end with this flyover? There's already the talk of North-South/ East-West Corridors, and what have you. That's where I believe we need to get our vision stated clearly first before venturing out onto such ultra-mega projects.
 

I fully support the 5 elevated corridors projects. Atleast two prominent BBPAG members including Ms. Kiran Shaw support this too. Every benefit that I have listed in my article (bicycle lane, zebra crossing, bus lane, wide footpaths, safe neighborhood, less air pollution), all become possible only with elevated roads. Whether in Ballari road or elsewhere. We'll still need to push for them (like in Hosur road now), but thats the job of the Praja. Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty.

***

Finally, a personal note to Murali sir:

I'm planning to write another article: "Liberal solutions for Bengaluru's Mobility problems". This will include criticism of activists who are asking State govt to fund part of Namma Railu, instead of the Union govt which borrows 8 lakh crores from LIC to do regular maintanence works, runs Air India and spends on Bullet trains. Till then, I request you to please consider my replies and not dismiss them out of hand. Liberals can do much better than promoting the worst anarchist forms of protests and bullying of elected governments, by usual suspects. Thanks.

 

srinidhi's picture

I believe Ms. Shah herself

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I believe Ms. Shah herself supports elevated corridors. Any long term Mobility plan with such corridors I believe will include this elevated section between Chalukya and Hebbal. Lets not wait for Best to stop the Good. Further, I'm slightly disappointed that BBPAG members (BBPAG was formed in May 2016) are making adverse comments about a project for which funds were allocated by the Karnataka Assembly in the 2014-15 budget. Page 92, section 328 unambiguously says:

328. Construction of Elevated Corridor from Basaveshwara Circle (Chalukya Circle) to Hebbal Junction at a cost of Rs. 1100 crore will be taken up.

Its under BDA line items. http://www.finance.kar.ni...

I leave it to the wisdom of the Praja if civil society members should ask govt to second guess the Karnataka Assembly, formed by the will of the Praja.

the praja really dont want to do the govts job let alone question them. However when there is total apathy from the govt and the decissions are beyond stupidity, the praja need to try question..btw is it justified to have a near 100% escalation for the project in a span of one year?

I don't believe its a choice. We have to live in reality. Bengaluru is India's 3rd largest metropolitan area, with people having decent disposable income. Number of private vehicles are going to increase, no matter what some people wish. Govt has to address reality rather than wishful thinking. Still, I lived in Los Angeles for two years and used Rapid (on Wilshire) and Santa Monica Blue bus for office commute. I can assure you, Bengaluru is no way as bad as LA and it never will be.

We should aim to be Paris/NYC?London in 20 years time. But in the next 20 years, we should try to be Phoenix/Kualalumpur. Please see how I10 and I17 along with ring roads, make Phoenix the mirror of Bengaluru. All freeway criss cross the city and are elevated or below surface. It also has a long tunnel. I wish we can build a tunnel from Chalukya to Richmond road, but I don't think we can afford. Take a look at Kualalumpur too.

Gustavo Petro said that “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation.” . So there is absolutely pointless trying to ape other cities, especially American and call it 'progess'.

Building a flyover will not solve anything..in a matter of months that will also get clogged. SO the thought for a sollution should be focussed to move people and not move vehicles'


This is completely false and only shows the praja as lazy. This flyover has been common knowledge to anyone following news. As linked above, its on the 2014-15 budget speech itself with 1100 crore allocated. If Praja is not paying attention to 1100 crore spending, what to say? All tender documents have completely public on govt e-procurement website. You can now read every document here: http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/bda-steel-flyover-tender-documents Expecting BDA to be great at communication is too much. They are getting better after this controversy. https://twitter.com/BDABLR/with_repli

There were multiple requests by praja to get the DPR when the project was opened up for public consultations and none of the details were divulged then. Even now the DPR put up by BDA is only half accurate as it does not include many off-hand redesigns that were done on the fly, including the most stupid flyover over the hebbal flyover! Even L&T or STUP who did the DPR are not aware of the modifications!

All along the plan was to let Steel Flyover traffic descend before Hebbal junction and fix the latter as above. Now responding to public suggestions, BDA has even provided a solution to integrate steel flyover with Hebbal flyover. This only a plan btw. Not DPR. Decision rests with Govt. BDA is doing its job well on this instance. http://bdabangalore.org/INTEGRATION%20PLAN%20(17-10-2016).pdf

BDA was not responding to public suggestion, its a plain simple fact that one cannot merge 8 lanes(3 of steel bridge + 5 exisitng at grade) into 3 lanes(hebbal flyover) which forced them to think. With their modified bridge over bridge, first BDA said they will integrate with NHAI bridge and when NHAI resisted they decided to drop it 300 mts before that bridge..if its before that bridge, what will be the angle of decent considering that flyover will fly-over the hebbal flyover..utterly stupid!

I have no hard position on steel vs concrete. If BDA believes Steel Flyover is possible, I don't want to suspect their claims. I don't have the expertise either. BDA built modern Bengaluru! Lets give them that. I heard concerns about tonnage and cost esclation because of piers also being steel. I would also like to know more and see BDA respond to such criticism.

If you did not know already, the argument to go for steel is that it will be done faster in 2 years. The same L&T built Sirsi circle flyover in record time too 2 decades ago with precast tech. Cant they be challenged to build with concrete (1/5 the cost) in shorter time here?

 

gbalaji's picture

Replies to Srinidhi on Steel Flyover criticism

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Hi Srinidhi,

Thanks for you comments. Please find my responses below.

>>  is it justified to have a near 100% escalation for the project in a span of one year?

Yes, its fully justified. BDA has put out a note explaining the cost escalation.

http://www.bdabangalore.o...

1. They assumed raw instead of the required kind of steel during their initial estimation. They have corrected a mistake.

2. They calculated VAT at 5% instead of 14.5% now.

We have to realize that 1100 in budget and 1300 later were BDA estimations. Such estimates have no meaning if no company is coming forward to bid at that rate. L & T bid for 1800 crore and after negotiations, its 1791 crore or something. As Murali sir pointed out earlier, this 1791 is likely an underestimate. By the time its complete, cost will escalate more. This is normal in all projects.

>>  Gustavo Petro

Gustavo Petro and Bogata are just a myth pedeled by some folks. Petro was able to build BRTS in Bogata because the city has an ultra mega freeway running through the city. Please take a look at Bogata map and look for Autopista Norte. Or see these images http://bit.ly/2exIzI7 If possible use google street view and see what an humongous freeway it is. There are dozens of grade separators and no signal anywhere. They started building this freeway even before Petro was born, let alone become the Mayor of Bogata. Without that freeway, Petro would not be able make such utopian statements.

If anything, we need that Autopista Norte here in Bangalore. The old NH7 (Ballari/Sankey/Hosur roads) should have been made elevated some 20/30 years ago. Let us complete it atleast now.

>> Building a flyover will not solve anything..in a matter of months that will also get clogged.

This is the chicken-and-egg problem. We can decongest roads if we have public transport. But no one will take buses because its ludicrously slow and is slow because of private vehicles!

We can solve this chicken-and-egg problem only by providing better infrastructure to public transport. I have written a whole article for citizen matters (linked above) explaining how this steel flyover benefits public transport more than any other road project.

>> Even L&T or STUP who did the DPR are not aware of the modifications!

This isn't a fair criticism. The DPR and tender was for the steel flyover that ends before Hebbal junction. Hebbal junction remodeling is a different project. BDA has only suggested a plan. Only if cabinet approves, will there be any DPR by STUP and any decision on whethere that can be part of the same L&T tender or not. There is a provision to add another 30% work to previous tender.

>> BDA was not responding to public suggestion, its a plain simple fact that one cannot merge 8 lanes(3 of steel bridge + 5 exisitng at grade) into 3 lanes(hebbal flyover) which forced them to think.

This is just commentary. BDA had started Hebbal junction remodeling work already. I have linked to news article and explained what they were attempting even before this steel flyover got going. City building is a continous process. 5 years from now we'll be discussing Hosur road steel flyover from Richmond to Silkboard, to complete the elevated corridor from Devanahalli to E-city.

 

>> first BDA said they will integrate with NHAI bridge and when NHAI resisted they decided to drop it 300 mts before that bridge.

NHAI doesn't want to connect 4 lanes of steel flyover directly into Airport flyover, because they built it for the ORR traffic and not Ballari road traffic from city. ORR is the current NH7. Once PRR is built and lorry traffic goes there, they might reconsider directly connecting steel flyover to airport flyover.

>> decent considering that flyover will fly-over the hebbal flyover..utterly stupid!
 

Steel flyover goes AROUND and not over. Its 12 meters higher otherwise ground level traffic cannot go to Hebbal junction upramps under steel flyover lanes. BDA and L&T cannot be accussed of not knowing such relatively simple things as descent angle!

>> Steel vs concrete

We all know the advantages of steel flyovers. Construction time is one of them. Less disturbance to traffic construction is another etc. I would say promote steel industry in Karnataka (it'll save jobs in Drought prone districts) and don't bother about any criticism.

Infact, looking at the recently opened Steel flyover in Kolkata, critcism of Steel flyovers is rather lukewarm. 2-3 degree more heat radiation. So? Is that a show stopper? Slightly more maintainance cost? So, concrete flyover also need maintaince. Steel flyover isn't aesthetic. Kolkata flyover looks as good or even better than most Bengaluru concrete flyovers. And BDA says, they can do a better job than Kolkata.

If anyone here has not seen the Kolkata steel flyover, please find photos in the BDA FAQ document.

http://www.bdabangalore.o...


amithpallavoor's picture

For the naysayers of suburban

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For the naysayers of suburban rail, I would like to tell them that an airport needs to be linked from multiple locations. Before that if DULT could answer these questions:

(1) How many people travel from different locations of Bangalore and nearby mofussil towns to the airport? The absolute number and percentage of overall private vehicles on Bangalore's roads.

(2) The split of these numbers on a ward/ BBMP Zone/ Mofussil town basis. 

(3) The mode of transport used by people travelling to the airport - Bus or Cab or private vehicle.

(4) The socio economic and occupational profile of people travelling to the airport -- Airport Staff, Travellers - Business and Tourists

(5) Number of people using flybuses to nearby cities. Number of people travelling to Mysore via KIAL from NCR and Mumbai. Reopening the Mysore airport will take the load off this road. 80% of flybuses to Mysore are full and 81% of travellers are from Delhi and Mumbai. I got this number from a KIAL staff.

I would much rather have a inexpensive suburban system run  empty  to the airport than an expensive linear high speed or metro line run empty to the airport.  Most of the traffic to the airport is from Ecity and Whitefield and CBD. It might make sense to start trains from Bangarpet for WFD, Tumkur for Peenya, Ramanagara for Bidadi and Anekal for Ecity. It is well explained on 24 coaches. 

An airport needs to be connnected to multiple locations and not just to a Vidhana Soudha or a Silk Board. I doubt if the Metro or Mono brigade are even aware of carrying capacity of suburban rail.

http://24coaches.com/a-pl...

 

 

amithpallavoor's picture

Tirusailam served Meenabakam

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Tirusailam served Meenabakam quite well. I have used it myself. 

Any other example of commuter rail serving airports could be highlighted from across the globe.

murali772's picture

composite roller-coaster

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New info, as published in ToI - full text (emphasis added by me) accessible here, intersprsed with my comments:

BDA commissioner Rajkumar Khatri and principal manager (designs), STUP Consultants, T V Rajeev told TOI that while the minimum vertical clearance of the flyover is 5.5 metres, its height at some points is expected to go up to 21 metres. For example, at the Windsor Manor point -where there is a railway bridge -the BDA has to maintain a gap of at least 8.5 metres over the bridge. "Therefore the height of the flyo ver is expected to go up to 21 metres from the ground.'' After Windsor Manor, the bridge will slope down to 5.5 metres. It will rise to 15 metres at Mehkri Circle, and to 19 metres at the Hebbal flyover, Rajeev said. The magic boxes at the BDA junction, Cauvery junction, CBI and Anand Nagar will be dismantled.

So, it's going to be quite an engineering challenge, eventually providing for a roller-coaster ride.

Khatri and PN Nayak, engineering member, BDA, made it clear that the flyover will not made only of steel. "It's a myth. It is going to be just like any other flyover," Khatri said. The pillars will be made of steel, but the foundation will be of concrete. Segments will be made of steel, but the viaducts will be made of concrete topped with asphalt. Huge cranes will need many hours to mount a single 100-tonne concrete segment for the viaduct.For precast steel segments, we need just a 100-tonne crane and three hours to do this. The steel piers will be set up in shorter time," said Khatri.

It's the government itself which generated the talk about the "steel flyover", and now they themselves say the talk is a "myth" - so, what to make of it? And, with all the concreting involved, apart from getting clearances from IAF and such institutions, it's going to take quite some time indeed, Much faster and far more benefitial, from long term perspective too, would be the pursuit of the other options of Begur, Budigere, Dodballapur, Peripheral ring road approaches, apart from "Namma Railu" (check my post of 20th Oct, scrolling above)

Nayak added: "We are metallizing the piers and the steel girders. This will not require us to frequently remove rust and paint the steel structure of the bridge for at least 20 years. After that, we will have to undertake regular maintenance."

So, after 20 years, it'll require regular maintenance. Concrete, the way it's cast nowadays, doesn't require any maintenance, whatsoever.

All in all, not a wise pursuit.

Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

Yes, its fully justified. BDA

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Yes, its fully justified. BDA has put out a note explaining the cost escalation.

http://www.bdabangalore.o...

1. They assumed raw instead of the required kind of steel during their initial estimation. They have corrected a mistake.

2. They calculated VAT at 5% instead of 14.5% now.

We have to realize that 1100 in budget and 1300 later were BDA estimations. Such estimates have no meaning if no company is coming forward to bid at that rate. L & T bid for 1800 crore and after negotiations, its 1791 crore or something. As Murali sir pointed out earlier, this 1791 is likely an underestimate. By the time its complete, cost will escalate more. This is normal in all projects.

Steel prices are down 50pc since last year, does it not offset the the varitations you mention above?

Also the cost of the adhoc extension plan varies from 'somewhere around 200 cr' as BDA said initially to over 500 cr today..who is drawing up the plans and costing it? doesnt it need a DPR?

 
>>  Gustavo Petro

Gustavo Petro and Bogata are just a myth pedeled by some folks. Petro was able to build BRTS in Bogata because the city has an ultra mega freeway running through the city. Please take a look at Bogata map and look for Autopista Norte. Or see these images http://bit.ly/2exIzI7 If possible use google street view and see what an humongous freeway it is. There are dozens of grade separators and no signal anywhere. They started building this freeway even before Petro was born, let alone become the Mayor of Bogata. Without that freeway, Petro would not be able make such utopian statements.

If anything, we need that Autopista Norte here in Bangalore. The old NH7 (Ballari/Sankey/Hosur roads) should have been made elevated some 20/30 years ago. Let us complete it atleast now.

Petro is just a name and bogota another place, but what is said is important. I would want to take my own example, just like all I 'graduated' from my cycle -> moped -> mobike -> hatch back car (2 of them) -> luxury sedan...now I am back to not owning any car..just make do with a 2 wheeler and a cycle, as I cannot access a reliable PT option where I stay..its not that I cannot afford a speedster or anything..I just dont want to! 

If we want better living conditions we need to focus on moving people and not private vehicles!
 

This is the chicken-and-egg problem. We can decongest roads if we have public transport. But no one will take buses because its ludicrously slow and is slow because of private vehicles!

We can solve this chicken-and-egg problem only by providing better infrastructure to public transport. I have written a whole article for citizen matters (linked above) explaining how this steel flyover benefits public transport more than any other road project.

If we need faster bus service as you say, lets go in for a BPS or a BRT, which is way cheaper..for 2300 crores, the whole of Bangalore can get BPS or BRT.

This isn't a fair criticism. The DPR and tender was for the steel flyover that ends before Hebbal junction. Hebbal junction remodeling is a different project. BDA has only suggested a plan. Only if cabinet approves, will there be any DPR by STUP and any decision on whethere that can be part of the same L&T tender or not. There is a provision to add another 30% work to previous tender.

Its these provisions which are put in for 'convinience'..a well designed project DPR will never lead a 8 lane road to a 3 lane bridge in the first place!


This is just commentary. BDA had started Hebbal junction remodeling work already. I have linked to news article and explained what they were attempting even before this steel flyover got going. City building is a continous process. 5 years from now we'll be discussing Hosur road steel flyover from Richmond to Silkboard, to complete the elevated corridor from Devanahalli to E-city.

If BDA was already thinking then it was a different project, diiferent DPR etc..why is it being 'pushed in' adhoc now..oh we will connect to NHAI bridge..oh no we will drop 300 mts earlier near esteem mall..no no we will drop 200 mts near columbia hospital..its not difficult to understand why infra is in a mess in blr today with such planning..

 

Steel flyover goes AROUND and not over. Its 12 meters higher otherwise ground level traffic cannot go to Hebbal junction upramps under steel flyover lanes. BDA and L&T cannot be accussed of not knowing such relatively simple things as descent angle!

Height is over and above the hebbal bridge..anyways L&T has gone on record that it doesnt even know of what BDA is planning..and BDA does not  and cannot plan they give their planning to consultants like STUP...who in this case are not involved!



We all know the advantages of steel flyovers. Construction time is one of them. Less disturbance to traffic construction is another etc. I would say promote steel industry in Karnataka (it'll save jobs in Drought prone districts) and don't bother about any criticism.

Infact, looking at the recently opened Steel flyover in Kolkata, critcism of Steel flyovers is rather lukewarm. 2-3 degree more heat radiation. So? Is that a show stopper? Slightly more maintainance cost? So, concrete flyover also need maintaince. Steel flyover isn't aesthetic. Kolkata flyover looks as good or even better than most Bengaluru concrete flyovers. And BDA says, they can do a better job than Kolkata.
 

What other advantages, except for the claimed 2 reasons 'fast' and 'minimal traffic diversions'..?? I bet L&T can be challenged to finish a precast concrete bridge faster at a fraction of the cost..

So all the steel needed for thsi project will come from Karnataka itself?? is that part of the contract? who is being foold here? L&T will go to who is cheaper..CHina mayve!

SLightly more maintenance? 86 cr per year??

Just to close on this discussion from my end, I know that this is stupid bridge is not being built for reasons of alleviating traffic issues, but for other unrelated reasons!

murali772's picture

need for, and way to, increasing public transport modal share

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Quoting 'gbalaji' from his post of 21st Oct (scroll above to read) - "I don't believe its a choice. We have to live in reality. Bengaluru is India's 3rd largest metropolitan area, with people having decent disposable income. Number of private vehicles are going to increase, no matter what some people wish. Govt has to address reality rather than wishful thinking".

This is of a piece with what a young lady flyover proponent more or less stated, during a TV debate on the subject, in as much as - "car is the only means for comfortable door to door mobility in the city, and therefore deserving of primacy on the roads".

Yes, indeed - all of the 10 million of the population of the city too would love to travel in air-conditioned comfort in their individual cars. But, it will essentially mean getting log-jammed just outside your gate, since we don't have the roads for that. And, if we attempt to build roads for that, which seems to be line of thinking of the "minister for the city" and his advisers (LA/ Houston model), we are plainly headed for doom.

Quite in contrast is what Srinidhi has stated in his post of 27th (scroll above to read) - "I would want to take my own example, just like all I 'graduated' from my cycle -> moped -> mobike -> hatch back car (2 of them) -> luxury sedan...now I am back to not owning any car..just make do with a 2 wheeler and a cycle, as I cannot access a reliable PT option where I stay..its not that I cannot afford a speedster or anything..I just dont want to!" - that's inddeed the way to go - quite in line with the thinking in the evolved world where "a developed city is seen as one in which even the rich take to public transport".

But, in Bengaluru, the problem has been BMTC's monopoly (check here), quite like the government-owned service providers' monopoly in most other Indian cities too. And, the answer to that very simply lies here, and the transformation can happen in very little time, and at hardly any cost to the exchequer.

As such, when the CM is quoted to have stated as below - for the full text (emphasis added by me) in the ToI, click here, - -

Siddaramaiah instructed BDA officials to share details of not only the flyover project but the entire CDP Master Plan 2031 for Bengaluru which is under preparation. “We said the BDA had put the government in an embarrassing position and will continue to do so because it has only engineering capacity, and lacks the skills to design projects that require other perspectives such as mobility, housing and public participation,“ CfB claimed.

Agreeing to consider a comprehensive plan to make a modal shift of Bengalurus traffic from private transport towards mass public transit and walkability, the CM promised the delegation he would look at increasing spending on public transport with a Metro link to the international airport, alternative access routes to the airport and augmenting the existing fleet of BMTC buses among other things.


- - what is called for is more than just augmenting BMTC's fleet. It calls for opening up of public transport services of varied kinds to reputed players, all under the watchful eyes of a duly constituted and empowered Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA), quite on the lines in London, Singpore, etc. 

Muralidhar Rao
abidpqa's picture

Regarding usage of steel

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Regarding usage of steel flyover for public transport, Wheeler Road flyover is built, there is no public transport on it, same case with Electronic city corridor, Nelamangala Highway, even on New Airport road.

People are protesting govt policies are not market friendly, democratic, etc. then why we cannot protest against building a flyover. Govt is elected but they did not seek approval for flyover during election.

21 meters is equal to 6 story building. Costs increase about 3 times relation to height. This itself shows lack of planning. There are many cases like this in phase 1 metro like Mysore Road, Yeswantpura, CMH road etc. A structure like Hebbal flyover has to be final solution; those cannot be modified for longtine. Same is the case with demolition of magicboxes; they have also cost money to build and cannot just be abandaoned. There are so many roads that can be utilized to reduce the traffic at Hebbal juction like Hennur road, Nagwara junction, if good connectivity is provided.

Asking for public transport is not enough. Involvement is needed, like seeing the state of buses running now, do they run on time, how many routes are canceled. how many people have to stand when traveling, etc. People abandoned public transport in the hope they can solve the transportation by buying private vehicles without asking questions. Even when owning car, people have to see how BMTC runs because it is run on public money.

Protests are good. The problems of Bangalore are because of lack of protests. The asphalt on the Ring  Road is 2 feet thick, Roads are being concretised without provision for rainwater drainage, low quality pipes are used in sanitary drainage system. If there were protests or questions about these, the steel flyover could have been presented better.

And there are no roads in Bangalore. There is 21 km road per sq km in Delhi, in Bangalore it is 8 km, Nilekani had said. So 6000 km roads are missing in Bangalore. This is likely because of exemptions and regularisation of violations. why should residential areas given exemptions like gated communities? All this has reduced roads accessible to public and public transport. This will increase congestion in main roads and highly expensive steel flyover will be the only solution.

murali772's picture

badly needed course correction

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The government may be proactive in building flyovers spanning the city, but BMTC, a prominent stakeholder of Bengaluru's roads, felt that elevated roads are only ad hoc infrastructure and show that planners lack vision on urban mobility and transport.

At a conference on public bus transport, organized by World Resources Institute (WRI) here on Thursday, Ekroop Caur, managing director, BMTC, said: "Unfortunately , we in the government barely have vision, as a result of which every developmental project, like flyovers, become ad hoc infrastructure. BDA thinks from its perspective about adding a flyover, while BMTC would want to add more buses to its fleet, and BMRC more lines to its network. One agency should not invest in something at the cost of other agencies," she said.

Multi-agency coordination is required, Caur said. "No agency does a cost-benefit analysis of options each of them comes up with. We need unified thinking and a vision to work out an action plan and execute it strictly , following guidelines. Otherwise, the goal to disincentivize private transport and reduce congestion and pollution is lost. Instead of adding more ad hoc infrastructure, we should adopt congestion charging and parking policies," she said.


For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Well said, Madam. Yes, a properly constituted (with representatives from Civil Society/ think-tanks, like Takshashila) and empowered UMTA is the need of the hour, quite as stated in my post of 30th Oct (scroll above, to read). And, under UMTA regulation, apart from BMTC, you can have captive feeder services operated by NammaMetro, shuttle services catering to residential areas (perhaps on the lines suggested here), cab/ maxi-cab aggregated services operated by Uber, Ola, ZipGo and the like, and many more as may be required, since a government-run BMTC cannot ever hope to meet the ever-burgeoning and varied demands from the commuters. And, it's plainly for want of such services that people begin to think of car as the only answer ending up with the kind of 'elevated development' we have been seeing all along.

High time for a much needed course correction.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

nothing to lose except the ill-will

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With the steel flyover project stuck in a legal tangle, government agencies are acting fast on alternative road projects to link the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) with various points of the city. The public works department has submitted a proposal to widen KR Puram-Budigere Road to a four-lane highway. M Lakshminarayana, principal secretary for PWD and transport department, said: "We are planning to widen Budigere Road and are awaiting government approval. The plan is to make the single road into a four-lane to facilitate flyers and freight movement to the airport from eastern and south eastern parts of the city."

For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Well, the Budigere route is just one option. There are plenty more - Begur link; Peripheral Ring Road; Namma Railu; and more can be thought of. So, perhaps time to dump the steel flyover, stabbing through the heart of the city, altogether, bowing to the genuine popular demand. The government has only the ill-will of the people to lose, and in the process perhaps gain some goodwill too.

Muralidhar Rao


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