Sunday, November 22, 2009

Halasuru station- uproots large number of businessmen

Halasuru station- uproots large number of businessmen
S Praveen Dhaneshkar,Nov 21,DHNS

Are the Metro stations seamlessly networked with other modes of transport. Can commuters simply park their personal vehicles at these hubs and get on / off the Metro Rail. Deccan Herald takes a look at this critical aspect, while tracking the citizen’s woes due to the project works, stretch by stretch.


The fourth station on Reach-1 from the Baiyappanahalli depot, the Halasuru station is an elevated one, located on the land where the old police quarters once stood.

It is being built at a height of about 11.6 metres above ground and once operational in December 2010, would service areas such Swami Vivekananda Road, Halasuru, Cambridge Road, Udani Layout, Nanjappa Circle and its vicinity.

Currently, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has completed about 25 percent of the work at this station. Located on the Old Madras Road (Swami Vivekananda Road), residents and business establishments on this stretch of the ‘Namma Metro’ corridor have probably suffered the most, in terms of loss of private property by owners and loss of business by tenants. While amenities at this station will be the same as other station on Reach-1, BMRCL had to acquire the maximum number of private properties on this stretch to align the Metro through Halasuru, an area that also has the maximum number of temples on Reach-1, notably the Someshwara Temple and the Subramanya Swamy Temple, dating back to the Chola period.

The Halasuru station is located as mentioned on the vast vacant land, that once housed, a residential colony for police constables and officers. BMRCL offered alternative land for the shifting and rehabilitation for the hundred and odd families that resided here, while acquiring this land for the station.

However, a large number of established traders who were located on this Road had to shut shop and relocate after BMRCL began construction activity for the project here.
Most of the land losers were offered a fair market value for surrendering their land by agreement, under section 29 (2) of Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) Act, 1966.

Town planning has to be mapped with road planning say experts. With the loss to private property for aligning the Metro on this part of the City, being the maximum, legal experts have for long voiced concern on the lack of proper planning on the authorities while approving infrastructure projects.

Sajan Poovayya, a senior lawyer and chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) - Karnataka State Council, says town and city planning has to be mapped with road/transport planning, before key infrastructure projects are planned. “Short term pains have to be decreased for long term gains like the Bangalore Metro project. In developed countries such as London, the Metro was planned hundred years ago. Here, we have just begun. Logically aligning a Metro through a Central Business District (CBD) has to be below ground. But, here you have an elevated corridor in congested areas and an underground corridor in front of the Vidhana Soudha” observes Poovayya.

Advocating minimal trouble to business establishments who have to suffer losses, while relocating for projects such as the Metro, Poovayya adds that local industry bodies such as FKCCI have to play a more proactive role to highlight problems faced by the those in the retail and small industry segments. “Depriving people of their livelihood, which is a fundamental right, is bad planning” he said.

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