Friday, February 24, 2006

Metro Rail finally puffs out of limbo

Metro Rail finally puffs out of limbo
BMRC Men Begin Checking Underground Utilities
The Times of India

Bangalore: With chief minister H D Kumaraswamy showing thumbs up for Metro — after his joy ride on the Delhi version on Wednesday — the project seems to have already taken off in the IT capital: Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation’s (BMRC) staff swung into work on Thursday itself.

The BMRC workmen were beavering away on the 7-km stretch, from M G Road to Byappanahalli, the ambitious first phase of the project. The trenching exercise saw workers excavate up to a length of 7 metres and depth of 1 metre, and take photographs of the ambiguous pipes for further action.

Explains BMRC MD K N Shrivastava: “We have identified all the underground utilities that fall in the stretch, like power lines, telephone cables and water lines. The underground utilities need to be tested because at 40 locations in this 7-km stretch, service providers were not confident of the utilities.’’ Meticulous testing is being done because when piers are erected, the pipes and cables, if found to be deficient, could apparently cause trouble.

The Metro Rail authorities have held joint inspections with utility service providers like BWSSB, BSNL, Bescom to understand the nature of the underground work, because 192 columns each 28 mts in width will traverse this path.
The identified 40 points are being examined singularly because of their ‘ambiguity’ and also because many of them were laid decades ago, some even 50 years ago.

Square deal

Minsk Square at Cubbon Road, which has been slotted in the final blueprint as a major underground station, will have entry/exit from four sides. One, just behind the HAL corporate office, two other points from the opposite side and yet another from the existing BSNL store side. HAL authorities reportedly have agreed to part with a section of their land at the corporate office on Cubbon Road, with the rider that their building should remain untouched. The narrow road adjacent to HAL will be the major entry point. Cubbon Park will not be touched, say BMRC authorities.

HDK to convene Metro meet

New Delhi/Bangalore: Impressed with the Delhi Metro, chief minister H D Kumaraswamy swung into action on Thursday and said he will convene a meeting after a fortnight to take stock of progress on the proposed Metro for Bangalore.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation managing director E Sreedharan gave a presentation of the project to Karnataka MPs at a meeting convened by Kumaraswamy and dyCM B S Yediyurappa in New Delhi.

Kumaraswamy has virtually given the green signal for Bangalore’s Metro and is awaiting the group of ministers (GoM) report on the issue. The GoM is looking into the legal cover and the type of gauge (track) the Rs 5,747-crore Metro will require for Bangalore. Clear airports: Karnataka has urged the Centre to give clearance to small airports in Gulbarga, Hassan, Bellary and Bijapur on lines of the memorandum of understanding signed between the state and Airports Authority of India for Mysore.

Kumaraswamy met Union civil aviation minister Praful Patel to discuss starting of small airports in Karnataka. The state promised to provide infrastructure such as land, water and power, and in turn, the Centre should fund the construction of airports.

In the MoU signed for Mysore in October 2005, Karnataka agreed to give land free of cost and exempt it from local taxes such as property and municipal taxes for the next five years. On its part, the Centre agreed to meet the entire capital cost of developing and modernising the airport.


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