Bengaluru has been awaiting the completion of this flyover for ages now, and yet the expected completion keeps setting new launch dates. The delay in completing the flyover work has led to several road accidents and traffic congestion.
The construction of the flyover to ease traffic in the area was taken in 2014 and a tender was awarded in 2017 with a 30-month deadline. The project was supposed to be completed in November 2019 but it did not due to a lot of hurdles. The BBMP then extended the deadline to December 2020 but the project was delayed due to the pandemic. The BBMP has now postponed the deadline to open the 2.5 km-long flyovers to 2024.
What are the hurdles the project has faced since its proposal?
It has been nearly 6 years since the private contractor Simplex began work for the four-lane Ejipura-Kendriya Vidyalaya flyover in the city. The work was earlier delayed on the Ejipura flyover due to various reasons.
Missing the first deadline
These included delay of payment for the workers by the BBMP, the transfer of defence and private land for public use, and clearance to cut 40 full-grown trees.
On paper, less than 50% of the project had been completed, but there are many places where the pillars themselves have not been erected, according to a BBMP.
The delayed project was further delayed due to the pandemic. All the workers were taken off the site and the route was left unfinished.
The work resumed in 2020 but it was very slow due to a handful of workers. But the fears remained still as Simplex is facing a cash crunch. Due to the fund crunch, officials said that only a skeletal number of workers are on the ground which is impacting the progress of the project.
Karnataka HC’s interference amidst Public Protest
Following a high court direction after several legal battles, the Karnataka government in March 2022 cancelled a tender awarded to Simplex Infrastructure Ltd
The Urban Development Department last year directed the BBMP to float a fresh tender as per the norms of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act and said the project cost would be Rs 204 crore. The tenders floated last August saw two bidders participating but neither got the contract, because of technical reasons.
The delay in completing the flyover work has led to several road accidents with construction debris being dumped below the flyover. A two-wheeler rider, Lawrence Anthony (45), sustained serious injuries when a huge hydraulic bolt fell on his head in 2019. His family has approached the court demanding compensation.
The new contractor will be given a 15-month deadline to complete the pending works which are valued at Rs 141.6 crore. According to BBMP Chief Engineer, Vinayak Sugur, the work order will be issued by February 20 and the construction is expected to resume by March this year.
As the civic body is still waiting for the approval of the tender by the government-appointed committee, the traffic conditions seem to be diminishing and causing unrest among the route’s daily commuters.