Preparation on for Namma Metro’s link to Bengaluru’s IT corridors

Connecting metro with IT corridors such as Whitefield and Electronics City has been a long pending demand and as a positive sign, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has recently called tenders for its projects in both the corridors. But motorists who travel on roads identified for metro construction have a big reason to worry. Prior to taking up the project, the BMRCL has the huge task of relocating utilities including water pipeline. Take the example of the Whitefield stretch. The Cauvery water pipeline in this stretch is more than 25 years old. To relocate road utility lines, there is the need to dig up the road, which is likely to hit traffic flow for a period of six months. BMRCL has already promised road widening before taking up the project. It said that the existing pedestrian path also will shrink to one-and-a-half metres till the completion of the project in some stretches.

Additional engineer of BWSSB Sathish N said, “To facilitate metro construction there is a need to shift utilities. On the Whitefield metro line, there are water pipelines that could be more than 25 years old. Wherever pipelines come in the way of the metro line or station, austere measures will have to be taken to relocate them. Tenders will be called for the implementation of such work. It would take six to eight months to carry out the work.”

The official said that to shift the water pipeline on Whitefield road metro line, BMRCL has already deposited 4.8 crore with the BWSSB. For the stretch between Silk Board and Electronics City, an amount of Rs 2 crore has been deposited, he revealed.

BMRCL has already issued tenders for implementation of the metro elevated corridor from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield having a distance of 15.50 kilometres. BMRCL will construct 14 metro stations on the line. Earlier, BMRCL had called for separate tender for widening of road on the stretch but now it has included road widening and allied works in the primary tender that is construction of the entire metro corridor.

An official of BMRCL said, “To build the metro corridor, we require 9 metres of land in the median of the road. On either side of the road, seven metres of stretch will be made available for vehicle movement and one-and-a-half metres for pedestrian movement. However, in some stretches in Whitefield, there are three-lane roads. In the line between SAP Labs and Satya Sai Hospital, a decision has been taken to create an underground 220KBV cable. An amount of Rs 64 crore has been deposited for the purpose. In the existing high-tension power line, metro piers will have to be built.”

The metro line is also coming at an environmental cost; BMRCL has already identified 275 trees for axing, out of which 22 have already been cut. BMRCL is already in the process of acquiring land for which it is spending Rs 876 crore. In the metro line between RV Road and Electronics City (Bommasandra), BMRCL has floated tenders for the construction of a metro corridor between Hosa Road metro station and HSR Layout metro station, and between Bommasandra and Hosa Road.

BWSSB has identified utilities along these stretches that need to be shifted. BMRCL is spending Rs 960 crore on building infrastructure and it is in the final stage of acquiring land for which it requires Rs 1,000 crore.

Of this, an official of the BWSSB said, “Unlike the Whitefield stretch, the pipeline on the stretch is not very old. As these were in the CMC limits, the pipeline was laid five to six years back. We are yet to deposit the amount for pipeline relocation between RV Road and Silk Board.” BMRCL is building a new metro line from RV Road to Bommasandra that covers a distance of 18.82 kilometres and will have 16 stations in between.

Transport expert Dr Ashish Verma said, “Metro is a must in the city. At the same time, BMRCL should start work with complete preparedness. There should be a proper plan on shifting utilities, widening of roads and diversion of traffic. Unpreparedness would create complete chaos.” BMRCL is yet to hold discussions on traffic diversion on the metro line connecting IT corridors.

IMPENDING NIGHTMARE
* BMRCL will need 9 m of land along medians to build the metro line, and this will further reduce the congested motorways and footpaths
* The Cauvery water pipeline along the Whitefield stretch is more than 25 years old and BMRCL has deposited Rs 4.8 crore with the BWSSB to shift this
* Rs 2 crore has been deposited to shift the pipeline between Silk Board and Electronics City, which would take six to eight months

THE TAKEAWAYS
* Tenders issued for implementation of 15.50 Km elevated corridor between Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield
* BMRCL is building a new metro line from RV Road to Bommasandra that covers a distance of 18.82 Km and will have 16 stations in between
* BMRCL has already identified 275 trees for axing, out of which 22 have already been cut

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