Over 800 trees saved! Karnataka government scraps Rs 1800 flyover project after protests

Bengaluru steel flyover project was shunned amid allegations of kickbacks to Congress high command and Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah's family.

Facing strong opposition from citizen groups and green activists, The Karnataka government on Thursday scrapped a Rs 1791 steel flyover project in Bengaluru, saving over 800 trees from being chopped down. The flyover was to be built from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal for better connectivity with the Bengaluru international airport.

Bengaluru development minister KJ George announced the cancellation of the steel bridge project that has faced allegations of kickbacks to Congress high command and Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah’s family.

“We have cancelled the project as we have been forced to prove our sincerity. There are corruption charges being levelled against us when not a single rupee has been taken as kickback by us,” KJ George said in a press briefing.

The expensive six-lane project, that was supposed to have reduced the commute to the airport by 10 minutes faced stiff resistance from environmentalists, citizen groups and civil society.

“We do not want to take the blame for something that we have not done, so we are dropping the project. The steel bridge project had become a pain point for us as the media has been speaking on a daily-basis about corruption in it,” he said.

Earlier State BJP president B.S.Yeddyurappa had alleged that a total of Rs.215 crore had been paid in kickbacks to Congress politicians in return for sanctioning the project.

The Chennai bench of the National Green Tribunal on October 28, 2016 stayed the 6.9-km project from Chalukya Circle in the city centre to Hebbal junction in the northern suburb, connecting the international airport road at Devanahalli and National Highway 4 towards Hyderabad.