Monday, November 09, 2009

Slow death to High Speed Rail Link?

Slow death to High Speed Rail Link?
Project Buried In Power Struggle, Says Captain Gopinath | ABIDe Backs Metro Extension To Airport

Bangalore: Has the lack of consensus among experts looking into the necessity, or otherwise, of High Speed Rail Link (HSRL) to Bangalore International Airport (BIA) deepened? And have views on and around HSRL sharpened after Captain Gopinath’s removal from the Vision Group on Infrastructure? It appears they are, as there is now greater reaffirmation of standpoints on HSRL after Gopinath’s removal.
Captain Gopinath, while admitting to The Times of India that the government had every right to remove him just as it had the right to appoint him to the Vision Group, said the removal, however, indicated the play of larger forces.
“I believe the HSRL issue is getting lost in a power struggle between two camps. I don’t belong to any camp. I have just given a view on HSRL after having been asked to do so. I am not important. Good infrastructure for the city is.”
Gopinath said: “We were asked by the government to sit through a presentation on HSRL by a government-appointed consultant. We were asked for our views based on the presentation. Going purely by the consultant’s study and presentation, I felt HSRL would benefit the city.
“I cannot question the study itself because that is not my objective, and moreover, I am not an infrastructure expert. But if it is felt in some quarters, like at ABIDe, that HSRL would not work for the city, why commission the study in the first place? Why spend government money (Rs 9 crore) on the study? I was asked to offer a view on the study and I did that. The study convinces me that we need HSRL.”
The aviation entrepreneur said that with the cabinet itself approving HSRL twice, there was no question of any other body coming into the picture. “The state cabinet is the supreme authority. No other group can decide what the city wants. Isn’t ABIDe’s view going against the cabinet’s stand?”
On why he favoured HSRL, Gopinath said: “All great cities in the world have super-quick connectivity to the airport. London, for instance. Even Delhi is getting there. Why shouldn’t Bangalore?”
TOI sought ABIDe convener Rajeev Chandrashekar’s views on the Vision Group. “I would not want to say anything about Captain Gopinath’s removal but I would be worried if we went through with an ad hoc, and not a carefully calibrated and thought-out, decision on HSRL.”
Chandrashekar clarified ABIDe’s stand on HSRL. “ABIDe has not been and is not against HSRL. ABIDe has said extension of the Metro to the airport be examined carefully, and if found feasible, be implemented. If Metro is found to be non-feasible, HSRL could be examined.”
He said ABIDe was in favour of extending Metro to BIA on three grounds.
“Investment in HSRL is huge and we have scarcity of resources. So we have to use existing resources in the most efficient, optimal and least expensive way. Second is affordability — can the state afford such a huge investment?
“Third, when huge infrastructure is anyway being created for the Metro, why not extend it to the airport and save on costs?”
Chandrashekar said a decision on HSRL could not be taken in haste. “Let us give it careful thought and even if we take time, it is best to take a decision that is financially healthy to the city.” He added that there was not much engineering expertise in the bureaucracy. “We have invited engineering experts from cities like New York and London to tell us how public transport systems work in large areas. We want to introduce rigour and analytical thinking from engineering experts into taking such a huge decision.”
ABIDe’s vision Not against HSRL But extension of the Metro to the airport be examined carefully If found feasible, implement it If Metro is found to be nonfeasible, HSRL could be examined
Gopinath’s mantra Favours HSRL According to him, great cities in the world have super-quick connectivity to the airport. London, for instance. Why not Bangalore? More than himself, he feels good infrastructure for the city is important


At Monday, November 9, 2009 at 5:47:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea is good but really doubt if we can implement it .
Reasons are innumerable :
1.Cost of this facility, once completed would common people be bale to take advantage , as of now people are unsure if they will be able to afford even a ticket in Metro Rail.
2. I dont mean to denigrate the scitizens as not being economically well off ,since I am born and brought up here I feel any system which is for public should be affordableto its citizens as it is of no use to have a system which only select few can use.
3 Time duration and expertise required to complete such a task .
4.Safety is of partamount importance as we know that even in 21st century we have problems in ensuring basic safety to passengers in our country due to apathy of government to lives of common people.
5.Political will to execute .


Post a Comment

<< Home