SRDP put in cold storage due to funds crunch
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Maddy Deekshith
Hyderabad: After much brouhaha over the Strategic Road Development Plan at the KBR Park junction, the government appears to have placed its flagship project on hold due to financial constraints and the ongoing political developments.
A senior official who requested anonymity told Deccan Chronicle that the GHMC had raised Rs 2,000 crore through loans and municipal bonds. The corporation, he claimed, would raise an additional Rs 500 crore, which would be enough to complete the Kondapur, Gachibowli, and other flyovers. According to the source, the SRDP has been put on the backburner since the corporation does not have enough funds to even hire a consultant and that the state government is unlikely to take up the project during the current tenure.
Since the government proposed in 2015 to build multi-level flyovers at six junctions encircling KBR National Park as part of the SRDP, the project, which aims to decongest traffic to the IT corridor, has been the subject of numerous issues, including axing of more than 1,500 trees.
The Union ministry of environment and forests opposed the GHMC’s move to fell trees and told the civic body not to disturb the trees inside the park's original border wall that are located within the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ). Further, it recommended modifying the ESZ to permit the construction of the skyways and finalised the reduction of the park’s walkway to between three metres and 29.8 metres from the present 25 metres to 35 metres from its boundary. Five years after the plan's approval, in 2020, an expert committee of the Union ministry of environment and forests requested a detailed report after holding a public hearing on the draft notification.
The central forest ministry advised against touching any trees inside the first boundary wall of the park because they were covered by the ESZ while those outside the second boundary wall were not.
There were six junctions planned for development at various locations, including the KBR Park entrance, Jubilee Hills checkpoint, Maharaja Agrasen junction (Banjara Hills Road No. 12), Filmnagar junction, Jubilee Hills Road No. 45, and Cancer Hospital junction (Banjara Hills Road No 10). However, the corporation revised its earlier move to construct six flyovers.
Instead, it proposed to construct four flyovers at the KBR junction, at Jubilee Hills checkpost junction (level two) and at Road No. 45 junction (level one). Along with the tunnel, the four flyovers were to be built at the intersections of Maharaja Agrasen junction (Road No. 12) and Cancer Hospital junction (Road No. 10) at an estimated cost of Rs 322.92 crore. Additionally, the corporation was required to relocate 270 trees along a 1.38 km section in case the tunnel wasn't dug up, in addition to 800 trees for the project.
Meanwhile, a corporation official said that the 3-km multi-level Kothaguda flyover junction, would be completed by November. He claimed that the corporation has completed the property acquisition process by acquiring 0.9 acres of forest land at Botanical Garden and a private property where a down ramp would be constructed at the end of the Kondapur flyover. The multi-level flyover costing Rs 263.09 crore will connect two ramps – one starting from SLN Terminus and ending at Botanical Garden, and the other two-lane ramp starting near Botanical Garden that will end at Kothaguda Junction.