Residents of Bengaluru’s Koramangala protest demanding completion of Ejipura flyover | Azad Times

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Azad Times News Desk.

The Ejipura-Kendriya Sadan flyover project, undertaken by the BBMP in 2017 to relieve traffic congestion in Koramangala, remains incomplete more than five years later.

A group of local residents gathered at the Ejipura junction in Bengaluru on Sunday, January 29 to protest the delay in executing the Ejipura-Kendriya Sadan flyover and the Ejipura-Agara link road. Standing at various points of the junction, the protesters, some as young as five, held posters that read ‘No road, no vote’, to raise awareness about the long-delayed projects.

“The Ejipura-Agara link road was shown as completed in order to attract major multi-storey development on the Agara side. So despite there being no road, huge apartments have come up, and the entry and exit is only one old, narrow residential road. If the road was completed, the traffic could have been diverted to Sarjapur and wouldn’t come to a standstill as it often does here,” said Vishwanath, the president of a resident welfare association in Koramangala. The flyover project that was aimed at decongesting the area has not been left in ruins but is also an active hazard for the regular traffic along the Ejipura road, Vishwanath added.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) undertook the Ejipura-Kendriya Sadan flyover project to enable signal-free traffic movement and relieve traffic congestion on the busy 100 Feet Road that runs through Koramangala. The construction began in 2017 with the first deadline to complete the project set as November 2019, which was missed. After several delays, as instructed by the Karnataka High Court, in March 2022 the state government revoked the construction contract that had been given to Simplex Infrastructure Ltd. The BBMP then floated fresh tender for Rs 144 crore earlier this month and extended the deadline to March 2024.

Another resident, Biju Mathew, highlighted how the empty area between the flyover barricades is being used to dump garbage. “From here till a stretch of about 2 km, it’s become a complete dump yard. You will also find medical waste being dumped there.”

Bypassing multiple signals and congested roads, the proposed 3-km Ejipura-Agara link road was supposed to ease traffic congestion in Koramangala. Although the road is mentioned in Bengaluru’s master plan 2031, according to locals the BBMP has not yet acquired the land required for the road. In August 2018, before the last Assembly elections, former Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised to give 16.5 acres of defence property for 10 projects in Bengaluru, including 5.34 acres for the Ejipura-Agara road. However, the state government was required to give the Defense Ministry land of equal value in return, but the BBMP had twice failed to provide alternative land that was useful to defence authorities. The defence authorities rejected both offers on the grounds that the BBMP was providing useless land worth less than the land valued at Rs 282 crore provided by them.

“A part of the land needed for the Ejipura-Agara link road is also defence land. It took three years for the state government just to approach the defence ministry. However, they agreed to hand over this land if the ministry was given a land of equal value elsewhere. There was a lot of running around between Delhi and Bengaluru to get approvals for this piece of land, which we residents did at our own cost. Eventually the land was transferred, but after assessing the detailed project report, the BBMP said the project is not feasible because the road will be too close to defence housing quarters. If it is not feasible, they should have figured out alternatives instead of stopping the project,” said Promod Kapur, a retired Major who has been a resident of Koramangala for more than 30 years.

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