In one of the most significant victories for people power, the Karnataka government on Thursday bowed down to pressure and scrapped the controversial steel flyover in Bengaluru.
Steel flyover not to be constructed, plan has been cancelled: Bengaluru Development Minister K J George (file picture) pic.twitter.com/79OCLq6dPs— ANI (@ANI_news) March 2, 2017
The 6.9-km six-lane steel bridge from Chalukya circle to Hebbal was proposed to decongest traffic in Bengaluru. The state-run Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) was the nodal agency for the Rs 1,761-crore project and engineering and construction major L&T was to execute it.
But ever since the state cabinet approved the project in September 2016, it met with widespread criticism from citizens and environmentalists as the construction required cutting about 800 trees. Concerns were also raised over the use of massive amounts of steel and at the lack of transparency in the project.
Thousands of residents then took to the streets in various protests, including a human chain, along the proposed flyover route. The outrage outpoured on social media with citizens opposing the government’s move with the hastag #SteelFlyoverBeda (beda in Kannada meaning “no”)
Protestors included big names like theatre activist Arundhati Nag, historian and environmentalist Ramachandra Guha, former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde and opposition politician Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
And after months, their efforts finally paid off with the government’s withdrawal of the project. Elated citizens took to Twitter to express their happiness and hailed the power of people’s voice which made the government relent.
A bow to all the citizens who campaigned actively for the #SteelFlyoverBeda campaign— Bengaluru/Shrinivas (@WeAreBangalore) March 2, 2017
Today is one of those joyous days. #SteelFlyoverBeda is a success. Thanks to all the folks of Bengaluru who pitched in with the protests.— Sathvik Ashok (@asae92) March 2, 2017