Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Ground KIA line for now, get Metronomics right

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.
03/10/17 Ranjani Madhavan/Deccan Chronicle
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