In the next 10 months, namma Bengaluru could have its own version of
Cheonggyecheon Seoul, South Korea’s public recreation space, or Ahmedabad’s famed
Sabarmati riverfront, if things go according to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s orders.
After months of baby steps, Yediyurappa laid the foundation stone for the K-100
Rajakaluve project on Thursday (March 26), which aims to restore Bengaluru’s
waterways and stormwater drains network, as well as turn the surrounding area into a
space that the public can enjoy.
During the ceremony, the CM ordered officials from the BBMP to complete the project
in ten months. The project involves the construction of European-style paths with
walking and cycling lanes, as well as small parks and recreational areas. Surprisingly,
the project, which was originally envisioned along the lines of the Cheonggyecheon
waterfront in Seoul, South Korea, is now being designed along the lines of
Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati riverfront landscape.
The state government approved Rs 169 crore for the Koramangala Valley Development
and Rejuvenation Project in the annual budget. The Citizens’ Waterway Project,
according to BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, aims to give a facelift to
historically significant stormwater drains from KR Market to Bellandur Lake via
Shantinagar, Hosur Road, & Koramangala.
The K-100 connected to Dharmambudhi Lake, which is now the Kempegowda Bus
Station, with Bellandur Lake, and is considered one of the most historically important
rajakaluves. The main drain is 11.4 kilometers long, with a total network length of
28.06 kilometers, including secondary drains. “Water canals will pass through
neighborhoods in Bengaluru, just as they do in Singapore,” an official said.
THE KOREAN CONNECTION:
By the 1940s, the Cheonggyecheon River in downtown Seoul had transformed into an
open sewer. The ‘drain’ was then concretized, and an elevated expressway was
constructed over it, degrading the river and life underneath it even more. In 2003, the
highway was demolished by the then-mayor, and the river channel was rejuvenated.
Twenty-nine months and investing $360 million later, the Cheonggyecheon has
transformed into a park and lively public space.