Cost, viability nix high-speed rail link to Bengaluru International Airport

TNN | Oct 19, 2013, 02.42 AM IST
BANGALORE: The proposed High Speed Rail Link (HSRL) between the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) and the city has been scrapped.

Bangalore in-charge minister Ramalinga Reddy on Friday said the central government had done it keeping in mind its viability and cost.

"Namma Metro will be extended to BIA," he said, during an inspection of ongoing works on the underground corridor. He was accompanied by food & civil supplies minister Dinesh Gundu Rao and Bangalore South MP Ananth Kumar.

While Gundu Rao said HSRL wasn't practical, Ananth Kumar said it was not cost-effective. Experts felt it wasn't a good idea to invest so much money on a project that would benefit only a section of passengers.

The proposed Metro link will take passengers from the city to BIA in 44 minutes.

Anywhere in the world, you'll see airports with multipoint access from the city through metros. The HSRL would have required people to come to Minsk Square to go to BIA which is not practical for those living in different areas. Once the Phases 1 and 2 of the Metro are operational, the links to BIA along radial lines will be a better option," said Ananth Kumar.

Currently, a Detailed Project Report is being prepared on the proposed Nagawara-BIA Metro section to be taken up under the Phase 2 A of the project. This line will be the crucial last link between the Metro network and the airport.

Peenya-Malleswaram line by December?

Reddy had good news for Peenya, Rajajinagar and Malleswaram residents. "The Peenya-Malleswaram line will be opened by year-end though the clearances will take time. The line from Peenya to Hessaraghatta will be opened by March 2014," said Reddy.

Pradeep Singh Kharola, MD, BMRC, confirmed that the Schedule of Dimensions (SoD) certificate has been issued for the northern corridor by the Railway Designs and Standard Operations. This is followed by an inspection of oscillation trials by RDSO and inspection and clearance by commissioner of metro rail safety.

On Friday, politicians, mayor BS Satyanarayana, BBMP commissioner M Lakshminarayana and standing committee chairmen took a tour of the underground tunnelling opposite KIMS on Basavanagudi Road. The tunnelling of 450m is complete on this side leading to the ramp to KR Road.

However, BMRC officials said tunneling is pending on the KR Market to Chickpet section and Chickpet to Majestic stretch on the southern corridor. Tunnelling from Majestic to western ramp under the City railway station tracks will start early next month. "The entire tunnelling for the first phase will be completed by December 2014," said a BMRC spokesperson.

The BMRC engineering team is trying to plug all cavities in the underground stretch so that work is not hampered and no damage is caused to the ground above but it said that cavities will pop up as work proceeds. Some cavities had developed near Vani Vilas Hospital and boring machines had to stop work.

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