Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bangalore Metro hid pact with Mantri on station

Bangalore Metro inked pact with Mantri on station

Anil Kumar Sastry
The Swastik station will be inside the mall
Mantri Developers has built a swanky mall on Sampige Road

Bangalore Metro acquired five acres of Mantri land for Swastik station in 2005

BANGALORE: The mystery with regard to the Swastik station has been unravelled with Bangalore Metro now admitting that it had entered into a joint development agreement with Mantri Developers to house the station in the latter's swanky mall on Sampige Road.

Bangalore Metro's admission came after Mantri's Chairman and Managing Director Sushil Mantri made a public disclosure of it on the eve of the inauguration of the mall, named Mantri Square, which is also reckoned to be the biggest in the country.

All these years Bangalore Metro authorities were silent about the Swastik station even though they had been announcing regular updates on all other stations in Phase 1 of Namma Metro. Bangalore Metro had also refused to divulge information in this regard under the Right to Information Act to former Mayor P.R. Ramesh, citing “security” reasons.

However, while announcing the launch of Mantri Square, Mr. Mantri said a Metro station would come up inside the mall in two years. It will be for the first time that a Metro station will come up inside a mall, Mr. Mantri said.

Mantri Developers had bought the 24-acre property belonging to Mysore Mills of the National Textile Corporation in an open auction. Bangalore Metro, however, acquired five acres of this land for the Swastik station in 2005.

A Bangalore Metro spokesperson, while accepting signing of a joint development agreement with the Mantris, said he had to contact the management to divulge details on revenue sharing. “We acquired five acres of the property and the developer has to construct the station. It is not true that commercial spaces will be built atop the station as being discussed in the public domain,” the spokesperson said.

Bangalore Metro will continue to be the owner of the land while the developer will spend nearly Rs. 35 crore to construct the station which will be operational by 2013.

Swastik Station is a part of the North-South corridor (Hessarghatta Cross and Jaraganahalli) of Namma Metro. After Swastik, the alignment goes underground to reach Majestic station and moves underground via Chickpet and City Market stations before coming up on K.R. Road in Visveswarapuram.

The Bangalore Metro spokesperson further said the space around the station would be leased out to the developer for 99 years. The developer will share the revenue generated from commercial exploitation of the property with Bangalore Metro, ranging from one per cent to five per cent, he added.

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