Wednesday, March 30, 2005

What does the city need? Metro or Monorail?

What does the city need? Metro or Monorail?
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Just as the city is keenly awaiting the metro rail, Metrail India Private Limited is trying to convince the government that the monorail will suit the city environment better.

Metrail’s director Rehan Khan told this website’s newspaper that Metro rail will cover only two percent of the city and its construction will hamper business here.

‘‘If you notice, Indian cities have developed radially, they grow from a core and townships have come up in commercial areas too. Constructing a mass transport system within a commercial core will destroy shops and livelihoods of people,’’ he said. ‘‘There are more problems to it since Metro will not cover the entire city. It will only cover 20 wards,’’ he added.

On the other hand, the monorail, according to him, will have no shops will be brought down and will cater to all wards.

‘‘The construction time for Monorail is just 18 months. It is lesser because the materials used here are much lighter. Since it has a small turning radius it is ideal for busy locations,’’ he said. The ‘Monorail’ also runs on solar power, it is safer and we need no government funding, he added.

Bangalore Mass Transport Rapid Limited (BMTRL) officials disagree. Monorail, they said, could only be complimenting the Metro as a feeder service. BMTRL executive engineer M.N. Keshava Prakash said, ‘‘Bangalore requires a mass transport system. None can dispute this. The Metro carries more number of people but the monorail’ cannot. Its coaches are small,’’ he said.

He also countered the claims that businesses will be destroyed by the Metro. ‘‘We are compensating everybody at the present market value of their property. The rest is smooth sailing as girder construction is off-site and work will be done at night.’’

Executive Engineer B.L. Yashavanth Chavan added, ‘‘Commercial areas like Chickpet will not lose their shops. Metro will be underground from Magadi Road and construction is 15 metres below ground level. No foundation of a building will be affected, no business will collapse.’’

Solar powered batteries, he said, will not be cheaper and needs a constant sun to keep coaches running.

‘‘The only problem for the Metro will be the traffic on CMH Road at night. Power subsidy is necessary for us, we need it in the initial period of consolidation,’’ he added.

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