Public outrage halts skywalk project in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Jan 6 : A skywalk project across the arterial Mahatma Gandhi Road in the city centre was halted after citizens and green activists protested against it on social media, Bengaluru Mayor R.Sampath Raj said on Saturday.

“We have been asked by the Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George to keep the project on hold until it was reviewed,” Sampath Raj told IANS.

The skywalk, a foot-over bridge, was being constructed at the junction of Mahatma Gandhi Circle in the central part of the city, across the busy M.G. Road.

The project had received vehement protests on social media for blocking the views of the heritage structures of Mahatma Gandhi Park and serving as “frames for political banners”.

“The skywalk is a disaster in the making. Is it not a fact that many skywalks across the city are serving as nothing more than ugly frames for illegal political banners?” asked volunteer coordinator for people’s forum Citizens For Bengaluru Srinivas Alavilli in a Facebook post.

Netizens also pointed that there was no need for the skywalk at a junction with traffic lights where people could cross during a red signal.

“If it was a highway or a ring road it is understandable to have a skywalk but why at a place where people can cross?” noted Alavilli.

The aesthetic views of the century-old Queen Victoria statue, which was installed in 1906 during the British rule, in the Mahatma Gandhi Park were going to be ruined with the skywalk, stated another netizen Srinivasa Raju.

The Karnataka High Court in October last year had issued a notice to the state government on a PIL filed protesting against the construction of a steel bridge at Shivananda Circle in the central part of the city.

In March last year, the state had dropped its plans to construct a 6.9km long steel flyover from Chalukya Circle in the city centre to Hebbal junction in the northern suburb after opposition from the civic society as it would have resulted in the loss of over 800 trees.