Monday, August 03, 2009

Metro to replace rail link to BIA?

Metro to replace rail link to BIA?
Hinges On The Global Investors’ Meet In Jan
S Kushala | TNN

Bangalore: The ambitious High Speed Rail Link (HSRL) to Bengaluru International Airport is again on a shaky wicket. After facing strong ABIDe objections, the project was put back on track by government, with the cabinet approving it twice over.
With the slowdown and the project being modelled on public-private partnership, there is an air of uncertainty — will international firms be ready to invest in the Rs 5,800-crore rail link? The project’s future now hinges on the Global Investors’ Meet scheduled for January. If firms evince interest, HSRL will chug along. If not, the government is ready with an alternative — extend the Metro up to BIA. “We will place the rain link project at the investors’ meet. Alternatively, we are planning to extend Metro. BMRC has been asked to prepare a detailed project report,’’ chief minister B S Yeddyurappa told The Times of India.
The infrastructure department which is implementing the project has invited tenders for the second time and got response from 27 firms. After a meeting with the authorities to clarify some finer points, the firms have sought some time. The bids will open in the last week of August.
“Alternatively, the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation is getting the detailed project report ready for extension of Metro to BIA and also working on the cost factor,’’ CM’s principal secretary V P Baligar added.
What private
investment entails
Recently, the Centre gave the project the go-ahead, along with committing some funds towards Viability Gap Funding (VGF), which is nearly Rs 1,040 crore
A private investor gets VGF of Rs 1,040 crore and land from the government
The remaining amount is his investment, which he has to recover through fares, adverts rights etc, within a specified number of years Rail link will cater to Devanahalli TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Bangalore: The Metro is emerging as a more viable alternative to the High-Speed Rail Link (HSRL) to BIA, as private investors have shown little interest in it until now. It will now be placed before the Global Investors’ Meet, after which its future will be decided.
NOT JUST FOR BIA: Several experts opposing the project feel the Rs 5,800-crore project is not needed just to ferry passengers to the airport. But the feasibility study has pointed out that the HSRL will cater to the airport city, which Devanahalli is emerging as.
“By the time the rail link is provided, Devanahalli will be developed as a satellite city. KSIIDC is taking up a massive business park, BIAL is investing in Aero City and a number of investment proposals are before the government. The train will also cater to people shuttling between Bangalore and Devanahalli and not just to the airport,’’ the report points out.
THE PROJECT
The 34-km HSRL will start from MG Road, run along the right side of the NH up to BIA. The train, which is otherwise elevated, will go underground at BIA, below the airport lounge
Needs 162 acres on NH-7; compensation at Rs 532 crore (approx.)
Funding worked out on three basis — 20% project cost or cost quoted by the company finalized for the project or bank’s estimation — whichever is lowest, minus land acquisition cost.

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