Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Will Metro Rail project throw life out of gear?

Will Metro Rail project throw life out of gear?


Bangalore: Fears abound that the massive Metro rail project would throw life out of gear across the City during its construction process.

Bangalore Mass Rapid Transit Limited managing director K N Srivastava says, "We agree some people may be put to inconvenience and have to relocate during the acquisition period. However, these initial problems are inevitable as the project is in the best interests of the people in the long run. If people in one area want the metro to be realigned, others too will oppose it in their respective areas. Everybody cannot be pleased."

Are the fears justified?
The project entails establishment of six underground stations at the City, Majestic, Central College, Vidhana Soudha, Chickpet and City Market -- the first four areas have a heavy influx of traffic and the last two are densely populated.
How can the traffic at the first four locations and trade and routine life at the last two areas be managed during the construction period remains to be answered. The project report indicates huge amount of earth movement from the area during excavation is inevitable. Each underground station is planned to be 222 metres long, 25 metres wide and 18 to 25 metres deep, which will amount to 14,000 truck-loads per station.

Moreover, construction at Chikpet and City Market stations will be in the most congested and built-up areas of Bangalore, and in close proximity to Vani Vilas Hospital.

Has a detailed plan for construction, including traffic management, been worked out to assess the feasibility of the underground station projects with minimum inconvenience to patients, residents, traders and motorists in these areas?
Construction of an underground station at Majestic threatens to impact KSRTC's operations. Unfortunately, traders in City Market and Chikpet do not have associations as platforms to voice their collective thoughts over the project unlike the CMH Road Traders' Association in Indiranagar.

Kokila Chandrashekar, Chamarajpet corporator, was sceptical about the works in the area which could put the business community in turmoil.


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