Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bangalore to be the ‘train city’ of 21 century

Bangalore to be the ‘train city’ of 21 century
S Praveen Dhaneshkar,Bangalore,Nov 2,Deccan Herald News Service

Picture this! The new Namma Bangalore of the 21st century, a Rs 25,000 crore train City. Hard to believe? Read on.

A 42 km ‘Namma Metro’ will criss-cross the City on a Phase-1, East-West and North-South corridor in September 2012 at a cost exceeding Rs 8,158 crore. A high-speed train at a cost of Rs 5,767 crore will become a reality in 2011-12 to connect the BRV parade grounds to the Bengaluru International Airport on NH-7 on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. A 59 km monorail corridor has been identified to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 12,000 crore, on a public-private-partnership (PPP) within the next three years.

Is the government actually turning the once ‘Garden City’ into a ‘Train City’ of concrete pillars and bridges, where trains will rule the roost at a cost that could well exceed Rs 25,000 crore, all just for public transport. Not to mention the Detailed Project Report (DPR) being currently prepared by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for Phase-2 to extend the Namma Metro alignment to include Whitefield, the NICE corridor and Electronic City at costs of well beyond Rs 10,000 crore, taking into account the annual cost escalation of 4 percent.

As per information available with Deccan Herald, the detailed project report (DPR) for Phase-1 of the Bangalore Metro, prepared by DMRC has stated the project costed Rs 3,970 crore, as on April 2003. This, then shot up to Rs 4,989 crore in May 2003 and was again revised/updated to cost Rs 6,296 crore in April 2005. Then BMRCL again revised the estimated cost of completing the project to Rs 8,158 crore in early 2009. This is expected to go up further at 4 percent as per the funding structure. All, this when the powers that be could have implemented a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) on a 12.20 km route for the City as per a study done in 1982 at a cost of about Rs 239.15 crore.

Experts also said that the governments of the day also turned a blind-eye to a good feasibility study done in 1983, by an organisation of the Indian Railways suggesting a suburban rail service on existing lines, a circular railway of 57.9 km on two corridors. In Phase-1, a 12.9 km rail link from Rajajinagar to Jayanagar and in Phase-2, a 11.2 km train connectivity from Hudson Circle to Krishnarajapura, that would have been completed at less than Rs 500 cr.

Mono Rail Corridors proposed under Swiss Challenge approach

*Majestic-Hudson Circle-Wilson Garden-Dairy Circle-Agaram Lake
*Wilson Garden-Banashankari-Mysore Road-Majestic
*Majestic-Rajajinagar-Basaveshwaranagar-Mahalakshmi Layout-Yeshwantpur-Malleshwaram-Sadashivanagar-Vasanthanagar-High Grounds
*Cantonment-Indiranagar-Domlur-Ejipura-Koramangala

Funding structure of Namma Metro

*Equity from Government of India and Karnataka:
15 percent each
*Subordinate Debt from GoI and GoK: 10 and 15 percent
*Loan from financial institutions: 45 percent of project cost

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