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.