Friday, January 22, 2010

BIA rail link ‘hitch’ out of the way

BIA rail link ‘hitch’ out of the way
The government and BIAL have come to an agreement on the alignment of the proposed rail station at the airport
NIRANJAN KAGGERE


The uncertainty hanging over the ambitious high-speed rail link (HSRL) project connecting the city to the Devanahalli airport appears to have ended with the infrastructure department and Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) officials agreeing over a minor change in the alignment of the rail station at the airport.
Sources in the infrastructure department told Bangalore Mirror that BIAL had been asked to get back on the issue by Jan 11. The issue was whether to have the station parallel to the exit path beneath the bus station or to have it perpendicular to the exit road. The final decision was expected to suit both the existing building and the planned expansion of the airport, a senior department official said.
Another senior official of the department said, “They have acknowledged our suggestion to have the station perpendicular to the exit path at the upcoming second terminal building. Going by an earlier proposal, the station would have ended near the first terminal, leading to confusion for passengers entering the second terminal. As per the new decision, the station will come up on an area of 93,000 sq mt. Besides, passengers will have a superb view of the city both by day and at night.”
The sources said the HSRL model had drawn on the Paris model. While passengers from Whitefield and Electronics City will be able to take the HSRL train via Metro Phase 2, those from the city centre, Jayanagar and JP Nagar will be able to take Metro Phase 1 and board the train to the airport at Minsk Square. Passengers from Bangalore South will be able to take the proposed Mono Rail and catch the airport train at the Hebbal junction, the officials said.
The infrastructure department, which has created a separate body, Bangalore Airport Rail Link (BARL) for the project, has shortlisted some companies after verifying their RFQs (request for quotation) submitted in November 2009. Now, with the issue of alignment of the airport station out of the way, the government is hopeful of completing the tender formalities by January-end.

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