Bengaluru: Deputy Chief minister G Parameshwara's statement that the government will implement the steel bridge project if people want it was met with severe criticism from people of Bengaluru.

Parameshwara said "We will put forth all the details of the project in front of the public. We will invite opinions and suggestions from them. After considering all the opinions and suggestions the government will take a decision."

The steel project leading to Kempegowda International Airport was proposed in the previous Siddaramaiah tenure and was vehemently opposed by the people, NGOs and leaders including MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

Parameshwara's comment that the steel bridge will help people reach the airport quickly was criticised by DS Rajashekhar of the Citizen’s Action Forum, who said that the government thinking of the benefit just one section of the society (those going to the airport only) was cheap.

People staged a series of protests over the felling of more than 800 trees to build a steel flyover at a whopping cost of nearly Rs 2000 crore. After protests intensified, the government withdrew its decision.

The Namma Bengaluru Foundation led by MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar had strongly opposed the project. A petition on was also launched, seeking people's support to oppose the campaign. Nearly, 36,000 Bengalureans had signed the petition.

Reacting to Parameshwar's statement of re-considering construction of the steel flyover, Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar said that "Former chief minister Siddaramaiah had scrapped the project. But if I were in his position, I wouldn’t have gone back on it."

Reacting to the same, MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, "Most projects are proposed by the BDA and has nothing to do with the benefit of citizens and consumers but is for the benefit of contractors and builders. The steel flyover was opposed by not only the citizens of Bengaluru but also by the National Green Tribunal (NGT)."

"Bengaluru, a city of 12 million under the Congress has seen expensive gold-plated projects like TenderSURE and steel flyover catering to small VIP areas while large parts of the city, where property tax-paying citizens suffer from lack of proper basic road infrastructure. If the Government of Karnataka has the money to spend let us have an open transparent discussion on what the priorities of spending public taxpayer’s money should be," MP Chandrasekhar said.

The Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) that fought ardently against the steel flyover also released a statement in this regard. "Mounting pressure from public forced the previous government to scrap the project. Let us not forget that there were 8000 people that assembled on the street way back in October 2016 just to protest the steel flyover.

"Lack of transparency, non-disclosure of DPR and the government’s misleading attempt to downplay the environmental impact with claims of only 800 trees when an independent survey found out that over 2000 will be cut was the reason why the public opposed this move. The government cannot take people for granted," NBF stated.