People of Bengaluru get ready for a tunnel ride as work to complete a 3.9-km underground road to ease Bengaluru’s traffic congestion will begin before the lok sabha elections. At a cost of Rs 690 per km, the project will cost the state exchequer Rs 2,700 crore. The first of these tunnel roads will be built along the ballari Road – from the Esteem Mall area near Hebbal to the Bangalore Palace grounds, said a senior official close to the project. “The tunnel, which will initially be 3.9 km, will later be extended to around 17 km towards South Bengaluru’s Silk Board. We want to do this before the elections, let’s see how it works out,” said the senior officer from the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA).

The brainchild of karnataka deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar, he has been pushing for this underground tunnel project as Bengaluru is one of the most congested cities in the world. To ease surface traffic, divert vehicles in choke-point areas, he had earlier proposed the construction of a 190-km urban tunnel, aiming to establish east-west and north-south corridors across the city. “It will stretch between ballari Road, Old madras Road, Esteem Mall Junction to Mekhri Circle, Miller Road, Chalukya Circle, Trinity Circle, sarjapur Road, Hosur Road, Kanakapura Road to krishna Rao Park, mysore Road to Sirsi Circle, Magadi Road, Tumakuru Road to Yeshwantpur Junction, Outer Ring Road, Goraguntepalya, KR Puram, Silk Board areas have been identified,” the officer added.

Additional chief secretary of the urban development department, rakesh singh told News18 that the project proposal was initiated after much deliberation and working out details of the economics “as it is extremely expensive, difficult project and time consuming”. “However, it has two to three great advantages. One major advantage is that there is no need to separately acquire land, and we have also been able to identify proper entry and exit points,” he said.

Singh said as part of this project, the BDA has also issued an ‘expression of interest’ to a company that will suggest different forms of intervention to alleviate traffic, including elevated roads, flyovers and tunnels. He further said the first tunnel of 3.9 km will be built between the north and south stretch, which will become a component of a major tunnel along this route.

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