Oppn to steel flyover a "political gimmick", minister 


Bengaluru: As protests mounted against the proposed steel flyover here, Karnataka government on Thursday dismissed it as a "political gimmick", asserting that it had no vested interest and it had taken the decision after consultations with experts and "due diligence."

"No, the government is not adamant on constructing the flyover. Neither is it a dictatorial decision as it is made out to be by the opposition. The decision to construct the flyover was taken after due diligence, after consulting technical and engineering experts," Bengaluru Development Minister K J George told reporters here.

The Rs 1,761 crore steel flyover to link Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal to improve connectivity to Bengaluru international airport has come in for flak from civic groups and BJP and JDS on cost and environmental concerns.

Former Chief Minister and State BJP President B S Yeddyurappa had likened Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to a dictator who had scant respect and utter contempt for public opinion. As many as 812 trees are feared to be chopped off, as per details made available by Bangalore Development Authority.

George said the opposition by rival parties is nothing but a political gimmick as they might be afraid of the Congress hogging limelight by implementing it, which could work in their favour in the runup to the 2018 Assembly polls.

"The opposition also is a political gimmick to cover up their failure to implement the project - the actual process of which began from 2014," George said.

Siddaramaiah has defended the proposed construction of steel flyover calling it "totally transparent" and claimed the project was proposed in 2010 and announced in 2014-15 budget.

Reacting to allegations that vested interest had driven the government to take up the project, George said "there is only one interest, and that is peoples interest, nothing else. There is no vested interest involved in this project."

Asked whether the whole of the flyover will be made of steel, George said the government will implement the project as per the advice of the technical experts.

JDS State President H D Kumaraswamy had alleged that the project was being used to "raise party funds" for next year’s Uttar Pradesh assembly election.

On October 16, the Citizens Against Steel Flyover had formed a human chain to intensify their protest against the flyover.

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