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Blog Entry# 2485709
Posted: Oct 03 2017 (11:11)

1 Responses
Last Response: Oct 03 2017 (11:11)
Rail News
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BMRC/Bangalore Metro
Oct 03 2017 (10:56)   Ground KIA line for now, get Metronomics right

karbang~   702 news posts
Entry# 2485709   News Entry# 318888         Tags   Past Edits
Bengalureans hoping to ride the Metro to KIA might have to wait a little longer - until 2025! BMRCL continues to stand by its unlikely 2020 deadline, although its success depends on Reach 6 of Phase 2, where little progress has been made. BMRCL is also hamstrung by the Centre's PPP mandate, which requires the state corporation to raise Rs 5,990 crore for the KIA line. With buses, cabs and 16 lanes granting road access to the airport, experts agree that BMRCL should be focussing its efforts on providing better connectivity within the city, reports Ranjani Madhavan
With traffic to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIAL) increasing every day , the government is now looking at extending the Metro Rail to it
for commuter comfort and faster access to it. While a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on the new line has been submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the Cabinet is expected to give its approval for the route, transport experts believe Namma Metro will not be able to deliver the airport line before 2025 considering the present pace at which things are moving.
Noting that the success of the Metro’s airport line depends on its Reach 6 of Phase 2, they point out it has made no progress in tunneling and construction in this section. The DPR presented to the government covers the 29 km stretch from Nagavara and an additional 13.9 km stretch from the Indian Institute of Management - Bengaluru to Nagavara, which fall under Reach 6.
While the BMRCL has estimated that it could take 36 months for the underground Metro construction till Nagavara to be built it has still not finalised the contractor. It, however, continues to exude confidence that the 2020 deadline will be met. “ The line from IIM-B to Nagawara was approved in 2014, but no civil work has begun still,” points out transport expert, Sanjeev Dyamnavar of the Praaja RAAG advocacy group.
And although the airport authorities are expected to coordinate on this section with the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL), their exact role still remains unclear.
“ There will be one Metro station on the National Highway 7 access road and a second station has been planned too, but its location has not been decided. It also depends on the second runway being constructed at the airport,” said a BIAL spokesperson, adding,” We cannot comment on our financial contribution as there is no understanding on this at present. The construction will be handled entirely by the government.”
There also appears to be little clarity on how the Metro plans to maintain the frequency of three to four minutes over a distance as long as 45kms to the airport, notes Mr Sanjeev Dyamnavar.
“ We need another terminal at say MG Road or Cantonment to provide a loop service to the airport with a three minute frequency. The Metro can run every 10 minutes from IIM-B to the KIAL. Cantonment has plenty of space for creating the terminal, but they have made no plans for this,” he regrets, explaining that a short loop service is possible till Baiyappanhalli because of the Majestic terminal.
While it's not clear yet what kind of coaches will be used on the Metro Rail to the airport, Mr Dyamnavar says sitting coaches will have to be added to provide end to end quality travel for commuters as passengers to the airport cannot be expected to stand with their luggage for over 40 kms.
PPP for namma metro? BMRCL’s poor record causes scepticism
With the new Metro Rail policy of the Centre requiring a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for carrying out future Metro projects, the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) will have to find private investors willing to contribute to the Rs 5,900 crore airport line. Only then will it receive the 10 per cent additional financial assistance from the Union government.
An excerpt of the Union policy reads, “ Private participation either for complete provision of Metro Rail or for some unbundled components like automatic fare collection, and operation and maintenance of services will form an essential requirement for all Metro Rail projects seeking Central financial assistance. The project must capitalise on private resources, expertise and entrepreneurship.”
While the nuances of this policy are not detailed, BMRCL’s past record on executing projects via PPP is poor and not surprisingly, it appears reluctant to go in for it for the airport line.
Although the Centre’s new policy makes it mandatory for the state to implement this model, the corporation argues it merely “encourages” this manner of project execution, and “is not set in stone.”
In fact, Mr Channappa Goudar, land acquisition officer of the BMRCL, admits it will “most probably” not go in for the PPP model for the airport line. “ There is less scope for innovative financing here as there are not many companies and industries on this stretch. But we do not require to spend much on land acquisition as we only need to procure seven acres besides some land for the depot,” he said , when contacted.
The airport line has six stations at RK Hegde Nagar, Jakkur, Yelahanka, Chikkajala, on the BIAL road and at the KIAL, requiring minimum land acquisition. The alignment is elevated except at Yelahanka Air Force Station, where it will be at grade level and enclosed in a structure to ensure that it does not interfere with flights taking off and landing there.
The BMRCL’s reluctance to adopt a PPP model to build this line is understandable as it is still waiting for the minimum Rs 250 crore required from private players to begin construction of its Silk Board line.
Mr Sanjeev Dyamnavar, a transport expert from the Praaja RAAG advocacy group, however, emphasises that the state Urban Development Department needs to have an exhaustive discussion with the Centre on the financial aspects of the new Metro Rail policy to make sure there are no hiccups in future .
Govt wasting time, money on airport line, says Sathya Sankaran, Transport Expert, Praaja RAAG
We are going down the wrong path. There is no hurry for the Metro Rail to the airport. There are more crowded areas within the city that need it. The BMRCL must finish building the Metro on the Gottigere- Nagavara line, to Whitefield, and on the ORR line from Silk Board and Southern Bengaluru.
Moreover, the PPP model needs to be thought through carefully. The Centre wants a private player to be responsible for Metro operations, but we don’t know the cost implications of this. I believe the PPP is not the way to go for public transport. No one is thinking about the luggage that air passengers will be carrying. Will the Metro allow 60 kgs carried in multiple suitcases to the airport? Will there be a scanner facility without restrictions and trolleys for carrying the load at all city Metro stations, where people will board it? The government is wasting time, effort and money on this when there are cheaper and faster options to reach the KIAL.
I would prefer extending the existing suburban rail to the airport as it can accommodate any amount of luggage and has trolleys services already. Also, there is a six lane road and service lanes at Mekhri Circle and six lanes on the Bellary flyover, six below and four service lanes. In fact, there are almost 16 lanes to the airport and I find it hard to believe that the government cannot allot one lane for the BRTS or a tram service. The priorities of the state government are ridiculous! Metro projects beyond the city need to scrapped and the focus returned to the city.
The BMRCL can build the tram service from Mekhri Circle to KIAL on the available road at a fraction of the cost. The tram can be at road level with a few tunnels/ elevated sections, if required, near the Hebbal flyover. Why are they fixated on elevated corridors citing land acquisition issues? They complain of lack of land but are not procuring advanced technology. Instead of using the cut and cover method, they must go in for tunneling to create more Metro stations. For example, they missed the crowded Gandhi Nagar after the Central College Metro station and went directly to the Majestic. Using tunneling with only stairs and vents going outwards would have solved this huge gap.
In my view we need to put all your resources into completing the existing Metro stretches in crowded areas and plan for inter-modal connectivity.

1 Public Posts - Tue Oct 03, 2017

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