BANGALORE, January 2, 2014: People who travel frequently to the airport can breathe a sigh of relief soon as all the six flyovers from Hebbal to Kempegowda International Airport on National Highway 7 will be opened to the public at the end of the month.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah made the announcement on Thursday soon after inspecting the progress of the work being executed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
The project commenced in 2010, but failed to meet several deadlines. The reasons were the inability of contractors to raise funds as they were not able to collect toll on time and a delay in land acquisition near Jakkur aerodrome and Chikkajala police station.
Two of the six flyovers are already being used by the public while two are expected to be completed by the end of this week. “The rest will be completed by the end of the month,” the Chief Minister said.
The cost of the entire project, which includes expansion of services lanes and roads below the flyovers, is Rs. 680 crore. Mr. Siddaramaiah said that there was no cost escalation as the project was executed on a ‘build, own, operate and transfer’ basis.
However, Mr. Siddaramaiah said, there are some bottlenecks in expanding service roads on the left (while travelling to the airport) as the land belongs to the armed forces. “We will speak to Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony to acquire the land. Besides, there is a temple in Byatarayanapura constituency. I have asked (local MLA) Krishne Byre Gowda to talk to the temple authorities to shift the temple,” he said.
The Chief Minister Mr. Siddaramiah said there is a proposal by the Bangalore Development Authority to construct an elevated road all the way from Le Meridan hotel to Hebbal. However, he said, the government is yet to take a call on the same.
Toll for local people
Local leaders, including Krishne Byre Gowda, said that local residents should not have to pay toll for using the route. In response, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that he would negotiate with the Union government to exempt local residents from it.
Jam thanks to CM
Commuters travelling from Hebbal to Mehkri Circle had a bad start on Thursday morning as they were stuck in a traffic jam for more than an hour.
Traffic police had stopped movement of vehicles on either side of the road to enable Mr. Siddaramaiah’s inspection.
Besides, the civic body has taken up repair work on a road at Mehkri Circle junction.
The line of vehicles stretched for over three kilometres.