“Elevated Corridors: The need for alternatives”, Public Discussion, 10 AM, Nov 17th, Saturday

Elevated Corridors: The need for alternativesA public discussion on issues with and alternatives to the elevated corridorsVishranti Nilayam, #18, Infantry Road, Shivaji NagarNov 17th, Saturday, 10 AM to 1.30 PM
Program Schedule:
10.00 AM to 10.15 AM – Introduction to the programBengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike
10.15 AM to 11.00 AM – Panel Discussion on “Elevated Corridors – Why it’s not a solution”Panelists: Sudhira H S, researcher, Gubbi Labs;Radha Chanchani, urban designer-planner;Maitreyi Krishnan, advocate, Manthan Law
11.00 AM to 11.15 AM – Bus – A solution for Bangalore’s traffic woesBengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike will present how bus based public transport is the most equitable, sustainable and cost-effective solution for city’s traffic problems
11.15 AM to 11.45 AM – Open discussion on elevated corridors and bus-based public transport
11.45 AM to 12.00 PM – Tea break
12.00 PM to 01.00  PM – Panel Discussion on “33600 crores for education, health and housing in Bangalore and Karnataka”Panelists: Akhila Vasan, co-convenor, Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali;V P Niranjan Aradhya, Senior Fellow & Head, Universalisation of Equitable Quality Education Program, NLSIU;Issac Amrutraj, convenor, Slum Janara Sanghatane Karnataka,Narasimha Murthy, convenor, Slum Janandolana, Karnataka.
01.00 pm – 01.30 pm – Open discussion on next steps

The Government of Karnataka is planning to construct around 80 kms of elevated corridors at an estimated cost of 33,600 crores, to reduce traffic congestion as claimed by the government. However, research and experience worldwide shows that such corridors will not solve the problem of congestion. Any additional road space created is filled up almost immediately by more cars and two-wheelers and the congestion remains. Bengaluru’s own experience in the last two decades of widening roads and building more flyovers, elevated roads and so on is testimony to this truth that congestion does not reduce with such measures. Improving public transport and restricting private transport (through high parking fees, congestion pricing etc.) are the only ways to tackle congestion. This is now widely accepted in transport and city planning nationally and internationally and is reflected in the National Urban Transport Policy.
However, the government, instead of taking urgent action to improve public transport (particularly BMTC), non-motorized transport (NMT) and pedestrian facilities, is planning to spend 33,600 crores of public money on outdated and regressive transport projects. This project will change the shape of our roads in a manner that, even in the future, if we want to make our roads NMT- and bus-friendly, we cannot. In addition to losing 3281 fully-grown trees along these corridors, there will be little space left for planting trees along these roads either. With road space taken up for pillars of the elevated corridors and reduced space for vehicles on the road below, bus lanes on these important road corridors will become difficult for future too. The irony of it all is that after all these losses, the traffic problem of Bangalore will not even be solved.
This costly destruction of the city is not the only thing to think about. At a time when the government is starved of funds for education, health and housing across the state, is it acceptable to spend 36,000 crores on a faulty, unviable and destructive traffic project for Bangalore? When we spend less than 10,000 crores on health and less than 15000 crores on elementary education for the whole of Karnataka, is an expenditure of 33,600 crores just to help cars in Bangalore move faster for a short span of time socially or morally justified, that too when we are staring at uncertain futures shaped by climate change?

In this public discussion on “Elevated corridors: The need for alternatives”, a panel of experts on mobility, city planning, urban commons and law will discuss how the elevated corridors are not a solution, what are the dangers of this project, what laws will it violate and what cost-effective alternatives are available. This will be followed by another panel of experts who will talk about the warped prioritization of the state government and how the money being set aside for elevated corridors could be used to secure basic rights of education, health and housing for the city as well as the whole of state.
Please join us to understand why this project is dangerous for the city and raise your voice for the city. If we, the people of the city, stand up and say NO to this project and demand that the money be put to better use for public transport, education, health and housing, it is possible to save the city from further destruction and ensure that public resources are used judiciously for larger social good.

See you at Vishranti Nilayam on 17th Nov, Saturday @ 10 AM
Bangalore Bus Prayanikara Vedike

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