The government’s proposal to build a series of inter-connected elevated corridors in the budget to decongest the city may not be the right solution, experts say.
They believe elevated corridors would only have the opposite effect by flooding the roads with more private vehicles.
Noted urban planner V Ravichander felt creating an Integrated Road Transport Authority (IRTA) is a welcome move and is on the lines of the Unified Metropolitan Transportation Authority (UMTA), a long-standing demand.
But he said elevated corridors are like an invitation to more private vehicles rather than an encouragement to use public transport and shift the congestion from one junction to another.
Ashish Verma, associate professor, Centre for infrastructure Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (Cistup), IISc, said that the state government should have instead focused on providing the urban rail network and a faster metro rail expansion.
“The elevated corridor project, in the absence of the peripheral ring road, will only choke the city. If this continues, the city will become another Delhi, where citizens will have to wear pollution masks. These plans are not found in city’s master plan. These are new independent schemes and it only shows that there is no co-ordination between the agencies,” Verma added.
Tara Krishnaswamy from Citizens for Bengaluru dubbed the budget “underwhelming”. She said more emphasis has been given to concretise the city. “Elevated corridors will not ease traffic congestion. The government has also promised to increase more bus services, but did not (do anything to) implement it,” she said. Leader of Opposition, BBMP Council, Padmanabha Reddy was disappointed that the budget has crashed all high hopes. “The city has got only elevated corridors, which is disappointing,” Reddy said. “There is no focus made on the peripheral areas and the 110 villages in the city.”
Another member of Citizens for Bengaluru, Srinivas Alavilli, said there is no mention of providing funds for the suburban rail network, though Congress and JD(S) spoke about it. “The elevated corridor is a huge letdown and makes the budget regressive in terms of development,” he said.