NGO Greenpeace India has written an open letter to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai to build a sustainable and accessible Bengaluru even as the state government plans to bring in major changes in city administration in the aftermath of the floods that ravaged parts of Bengaluru earlier this month.
Urging the CM to ensure Bengaluru can adapt to the climate crisis at its door step, the open letter has slammed state government’s plan to build a three-layer flyover on crucial national highway stretches passing through the city.
“Taking a small group of commuters on a car ride ironically credits concrete-based structures as the solution to our mobility and flooding problems, while studies clearly show otherwise. More flyovers can further incentivise private vehicles, making the city more exclusionary, worsening traffic congestion, pollution and proving to be counterproductive if not more damaging,” states the open letter.
Earlier in the month, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had announced that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will build a three-layer flyover which will have two layers of the roadway and a metro line over that, this would be on the national highway stretches passing through the city.
The NGO, however, has said that the flyover is not only unsustainable but also counterproductive.
“The recent floods in Bengaluru reveal both the severity of extreme weather events and also expose the city’s ill preparedness to deal with such events. It is time we build climate resilient cities. It is also critical that the state government not use this crisis to build more flyovers or elevated corridors which are not only unsustainable, but also counterproductive to the city and the citizens,” said Avinash Kumar Chanchal, Campaign Manager at Greenpeace India.
According to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, more than 7,700 houses were inundated with 170 houses partially damaged during the recent floods that devastated Mahadevapura and Bommanahalli zone in the IT capital. The municipal body has pegged the damage to roads, footpaths and other civic infrastructure at Rs 340 crore.
The letter has also asked the IT companies to incentivize working professionals who commute to work by cycles and by means of public road transportation. The recent floods largely affected the IT corridors of the city and tech companies located on Outer Ring Road were badly hit during the floods.
Finally, the open letter also called upon government as well as citizens to conserve, revive and protect water bodies and tree cover etc.