During last month, the Karnataka government scrapped the controversial Bengaluru steel flyover project. The government announced the cancellation of the steel bridge project, that had been mired in controversy from the day it was conceived. There were also allegations of financial irregularities.
This project costing approximately Rs. 2100 crore, to be implemented by BDA, was expected to decongest city’s Bellary road leading to Kempegowda International Airport.
The good news was that the project was closed at the planning stage itself, else the cost associated with closure would have been several times more. For Project Managers, this event provides some important lessons to learn. This showed that in today’s world, one of the critical stakeholders for any social and infrastructure project are the citizens.
The government or contractor can use the political power and financial power to bull doze their agenda, but they cannot ignore the concerns of the citizens. This project drew intense flak from citizens and green activists as it required axing or cutting of 812 trees. The bridge was supposed to be built through the greenest parts of the city and loss of the green cover was not acceptable to the citizens. Another lesson is that the social media has become a very powerful tool to mobilize needs and concerns of stakeholders. The project stakeholders (citizens for this case), used the social media to campaign for the cause and quickly congregated a huge number of people to showcase solidarity of purpose.
During October last year, they campaigned using social media and hosted a massive protest against the government when close to 10,000 citizens came on road to form a human chain. They lodged a petition to scrap the flyover project. The government took some time to respond but finally they accepted the proposal from citizens to close this. I am sure if we look around we will find many more examples of such incidents when citizens mobilized using social media to put across their points to draw government’s attention to either implement a infrastructure project or to stop one that did not make sense to them.
Soumen De, PMP
Technology Support : : Ramesh Chandra Pathak, PMP
Murali Santhanam, PMP
Namita Gupta, PMP, PMI-ACP
Rama K, PMP, PMI-ACP
Shikha Vaidh, PMP, PMI-ACP
Soumen De, PMP
Sujata Sahu, PMP