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Unfazed by protests, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today defended the proposed construction of a steel flyover calling it "totally transparent".
"The entire project is totally transparent. It has been put up on the website and the suggestion of the public has been received," Siddaramaiah said.
Speaking to reporters after inspecting alternative roads to Kempegowda International Airport here, he said "73 per cent of the suggestions we have received are in favour of construction of steel bridge."
Protesting the proposed construction of the steel flyover to connect the airport and surrounding areas, which was reportedly sanctioned without public consultation, thousands of people including BJP leaders had yesterday formed a human chain here.
Claiming that the steel bridge was proposed in 2010 itself, the Chief Minister said the project was announced in 2014-15 budget.
He said the project report was prepared and has been uploaded on the website."The project is completely transparent. Chief Secretary had convened four meetings and I had convened two meetings in this regard," he added.
Explaining about escalation in the project cost, Siddaramaiah said estimate was based on schedule of Rates of 2014-15, but as tender happened two years later, and in those two years there was an escalation.
He said "After two years it was about 1,800 crore, after that there was negotiations and it has now come to Rs 1,791 crore..."
"Also VAT on steel instead of 5 per cent it is around 14 per cent, so it has also increased leading to escalation," he added.
It is estimated that 812 trees will be felled for the project.
Responding to a question on felling of trees,Siddaramaiah said Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagra Palike (city civic body) has been asked to plant 10 lakh trees.
He said "government too cares for environment and is committed to protect it".