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Criss-cross elevated corridor based development, or Namma Railu based development - which would suit Bengaluru better?

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Urban Development

The state government's ambitious plan of easing traffic congestion by constructing elevated corridors is all set to come with a huge bill: A massive Rs 18,500 crore! And they plan to pass it on to the users.

The initial estimates for the three corridors that will crisscross the city were readied recently and the projects are likely to be kick-started by the state government before the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) polls. The corridors, which are likely to be completed in five years, will be pay-and-travel (toll) roads for commuters.

Three elevated roads have been planned: the north-south corridor connecting Central Silk Board with Hebbal; east-west corridor-1 connecting KR Puram with Yeshwanthpur (Goraguntepalya); and east-west corridor-2 connecting Jnanabharathi with Varthur Kodi.

These will have three more connecting corridors of a total length of 75 km, all estimated to be built at a cost of Rs 18,500 crore — one of the costliest projects to be executed by the BBMP under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model. The Congress government led by chief minister Siddaramaiah has decided to take on a few development projects before the BBMP elections.

For the full text of the report in the Bangalore Mirror, click here.

This is again going to be encouraging car-centric travel of the elite few. As compared that, Namma Railu (Commuter Rail - for FAQ, click here), will provide for most the cost effective connectivity between the city to the many townships around it, allowing for large sections of the aam aadmi to move out, and thereby de-congest the city. And, the entire scheme could be put in place in less than a year.

One would have thought that the Namma Railu option made far more sense. One hopes it's not too late for a total re-think.

Muralidhar Rao


murali772's picture

both needed - but, Namma Railu deserves higher priority

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Comments on google-groups by studied citizens, which definitely can't be ignored:

a) It should not be an either or. Both are required. All transportation modes have their place and I for one am not at all unhappy with the Govt spending 18500 crores (emphasis added by me). The problem until now has been govt doing quick and dirty projects spending too little and not making a big investment in infrastructure. We need Rail Metro and elevated roads also.

b) I do not think this is an either or question. Both are equally required. There is travel within the city required for people who have already built homes here. Current infrastructure cannot support it. Large scale Land acquisition is not possible in a dense area like this. So elevated corridors that bypass the city is the only answer. However, suburban rail is a must to connect nearby locations and staellite towns. They must be integrated so that they end where the metro bgins... so people can seamlessly hop off from one and move to the other. We need all modes of transport to exist.

Admittedly, you can't wish away cars. Besides, apart from cars, we need to have service vehicles moving within the city too, right? But, I would still say Namma Railu deserves higher priority.

A google search on expressways through London, took me to this album. The question, apart from the need, is also about the capacity to conceive and execute a proper job.

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Namma Railu being given raw deal

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The question really is why Namma Railu is being given a raw deal & lower priority than all others?

Though I might agree that road expansions might be inevitable even with Metro & Suburban rail, the focus of successive govts has never been on Suburban rail, a very important mode of travel for any city. In fact, they have neglected it completely.

Execution of elevated roads may be done by private road agencies - so, should be no problem if right of way & necessary land is given.

Vasanth's picture

Vehicular Emmissions and accidents are major concern with roads

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In a well developed European or American city, elevated expressway and Metro both works good. In Third World countries like India and China, where the fuel quality is low, emissions are a major concern.

Other than that, there is no proper enforcement of traffic rules. People drive very rashly in these kind of expressways in India leading to road rage and accidents.

Priority should be more for Namma Metro, Railu and BRTS. Govt never talks about BRTS.

On elevated corridors passing through city, we need to priorotize Buses and toll private vehicles. Govt should not spend a pie on the corridors.

Sanjeev's picture

How many times did the announcment of elevated corridor happen

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Since last 5 years I  was hearing on elevated corridor from Minsk Square upto Hebbal Flyover and  even the GOK was demanding central Govt to share the cost including the steel prices.

Worst Governance appening in Karnataka during last 6 years and  we as citizens r paying the price.

GOK and Govt Of India have given thrid citizen treatment for Suburban Rail for Bangalore


abidpqa's picture


145 users have liked.

Why not build an express metro line with limited stops connecting east- west and north-south instead of this

murali772's picture

"Tunnel vision George" not suited for the job

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A tunnel ring road to ease the city's congestion - this is Bengaluru development minister KJ George's solution to the traffic mess. The proposal, presented to him by an American company, is to construct a tunnel ring road along the route notified for the peripheral ring road project -cutting through Hosur Road, Sarjapur Road, Ballari Road, Doddaballapur Road and Tumakuru Road. The plan also includes building of diagonal tunnel roads to connect the ring road to inner city areas.  - - The minister also said they are examining a proposal on mono rail, which will be integrated with the Metro for better connectivity .

For the full text of the report (emphasis added by me) in the ToI, click here.

The report also cites opinions of a panel of experts, the gist of it being as below:

This is just poor planning and an opportunity for a few to make money and get kickbacks. Tunneling is four times costlier than at-grade construction. - - - I think a model of land reconstitution can be made between KR Puram and Sarjapur junction on the ring road-19 km will require only Rs 100 crore and will benefit 90% of the techparks situated either sides. Mono rail is only going to complicate everything because of the huge cost. - - - Tunnel ring road is simply undesirable. It promotes private vehicles over public transport, is not suitable for our mixed traffic, will take decades to complete and cost a fortune. Boring through the tunnel is much more difficult and expensive than laying a regular road. Landowners around the peripheral ring road can see their investments boom though town planning and land pooling schemes. Land acquisition is a challenge if owners see the process as unfair. If they see themselves as winners in the shared gains, they will part with their land. - - - - The announcement reflects poor understanding of our governments; they don't seem to know what is good for the city. Today they want to build tunnel roads, which will also be congested tomorrow. Modes of commuting have changed and adding more roads will only increase the number of private cars. A tunnel road is a solution but not a sustainable one. Secondly, where will the government get money to build tunnel roads every year? The same argument holds good for the mono rail. It is a complete mess in Mumbai. - - - Short-term solutions are immediate repair and quality assurance. That will increase vehicle speed and solve the biggest problem the city is grappling with -traffic congestion. B-TRAC was a good short-term measure but the government did not extend its benefits across the city.

Can't agree with the experts more, and equally disagree with the minister.

One had thought that the earlier proposal of "criss-cross elevated corridors" (check the opening post) was bad enough. And, now comes the "tunnel vision" (pun intended) for the city from the newly appointed Bengaluru development minister Mr KJ George, well-known for his interests in real estate development, obviously with a view to help favoured contractors "make money and get kickbacks", quite as opined by one of the experts.

Given the near unanimous rejection of the proposal by the expert panel, isn't it obvious that he too is not quite the right person for the job, quite as much as the earlier city-in-charge minister, Mr Ramalinga Reddy, under whom the BBMP sank to its nadir (a citizen's assessment of his performance is accessible here)? As such, shouldn't Mr George be quitting the job on his own?

So, who then? The expert panel members' views themselves seem to make a lot of sense. That being so, why not the CM take on the portfolio himself, and have the expert panel decide on an appropriate plan (after proper citizen consultaion), and have the same executed by a senior bureaucrat, known for his efficiency (like Mr Manivannan - there are others too)?

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

question of priority

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If one goes by the words of Bengaluru development minister KJ George, the city may get rid of its traffic woes in a couple of years. The preliminary report on the 82.7km elevated road network plan, which promises end-to-end connectivity, will be ready in a month, he said on Thursday. "It will be a network of six elevated corridors running across the length and breadth of the city. Once the ground work begins, we hope to finish the project in two years," George said.

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

With the panel of experts unanimously showing their "thumbs down" to the minister's other proposal of a "tunnel ring road" around the city (read my post of 3rd Dec, '15, scrolling above), one would have hoped the minster would review his essentially car-centric approach, and instead look at public transport solutions like "Suburban Rail System" (talked about in greater detail in the opening post), and bus services, where ZipGo has come up with really innovative scheme (check here) to supplement the BMTC's efforts, which by themselves are proving inadequate to meet the present day challenges. Both of these (and, there are more, debated on Praja) can make for a world of difference to every day commute of the average citizen, as compared to the car-centric solutions, which benefit just a miniscule few.

Well, even if these elevated roads are to happen, the question today is of priority. And, by that yard-stick, the choice should be fairly clear.

Muralidhar Rao
Sanjeev's picture

Cash-strapped BDA may toll steel flyover

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after facing technical and design hurdles, the proposed steel flyover is now facing financial hurdles. So much so it could trickle down to commuters.

For, the government is considering making the stretch of the flyover from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal a tolled road. This means those going from south Bengaluru will have to pay more for using the 6.9-km steel flyover in addition to the toll on the national highway.

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