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On Friday, the Railway Board gave Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) the go-ahead to continue with its preparatory work on the railway land at Platform Road, after paying Rs21 crore. But the issue over the licence fee is far from over. Chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda brought up the fee issue with Union railway minister Mukul Roy on Thursday and the BMRCL received a written permission from the board on Friday to resume the preparatory work. Work on Platform Road was halted after the South-Western Railway intervened, seeking licence fee from the BMRCL. Then the dispute between the railway and BMRCL took an ugly turn when BMRCL attempted to continue with the preparatory work: it was stopped by railway employees. While the... Read more...
railway demanded a fee of Rs219 crore, the BMRCL said that it owes only Rs44 crore-while it has already made a payment of Rs94 crore towards the fee. Since it is a “cut-and-cover” kind of work, the BMRCL said, it needs to pay only Rs44 crore to the railway. But the railway contends that the metro corporation has to pay the full fee amount as there would be restrictions on what work could be carried out in the area and thus, it could not be considered as a cut-and-cover work. According to a statement issued by the BMRCL, a written permission from the Railway Board was received on Friday. “Permission to continue work on the railway land was given, subject to the condition that the Bangalore Metro should make a further payment of Rs21 crore,” said the statement. With this, the BMRCL will be making a total payment of Rs115 crore-the Rs94 crore already paid to the railway plus the Rs21 crore sought now. However, the statement said that this was only an interim payment and was subject to final adjustments. Although the BMRCL can enter the railway land and take up preparatory works, the final agreement will be signed only after the railway and BMRCL receives a Cabinet nod. The final payments will have to be worked out by a working group consisting of the railway as well as BMRCL officials by June 15. Behind the scenes A few days after the BMRCL was forced to halt work on Platform Road, a meeting was held with railway officials on April 23. According to N Sivasailam, MD, BMRCL, continuing work on the North ramp was “their first and foremost priority as this had now become critical and may further delay the whole project.” The progress of work was being hampered because of issues related to transfer of land. Sivasailam said there was a persistent dispute with regard to land rates. He said even though no land was being used by BMRCL for commercial purposes, commercial rates were charged by the railway. To resolve this, a working group with representatives of BMRCL, director of urban transport/minister of urban development and joint director/works (Plg) of the railway board has been formed.