Thursday, September 25, 2008

Metro: BMRC on cost-cutting spree

Metro: BMRC on cost-cutting spree
BY R. JAYAPRAKASH
BENGALURU








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The much-touted plan by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd high-tech and aesthetic stations on MG Road is not likely to materialise. The BMRCL, which is in costcutting mode has been doing a complete turnaround to shelve the earlier plan and have no frills stations.

“The present design for all the six stations on Reach One — M.G. Road station at Plaza, station opposite Nalli Silks, Trinity station, CMH Road, Old Madras Road station and Byappanahali have been shelved. All six stations will be ordinary with absolutely no frills. In fact, the earlier proposal had suggested an estimated cost of Rs 10 to Rs 12 crore on each station which was designed by RITES and leading architects of the city. Now the authority wants to spend only Rs 1 crore on each of these stations in a bid to save as much as Rs 50 crore,” said the officer.

The authority is also having second thoughts over redoing the promenade which saw over a dozen heritage trees being removed.

When contacted, BMRC managing director N. Sivasailam, said, “I don’t know. I cannot answer. There is a board meeting on September 27 and the board will decide as to what to do with the designs and stations. I cannot comment as of now.” According to the earlier plan, all stations were supposed to have distinct, unique architectural features with multiple escalators for entry and exit, kiosks for ATMs and ticketing, coffee shops, bookshops, souvenir shops, lifts with Braille buttons, signage conforming to international standards, heritage of Karnataka depicted in the form of art works and murals, CCTVs for total surveillance, smoke and fire sensors apart from utilities including automatic fare collection. Now, that’s history.

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