Thursday, February 15, 2007

Metro rail may be extended to Whitefield

Metro rail may be extended to Whitefield

The Hindu

`Government will decide on this on February 22 or 23'

# `It was prudent to have metro along thickly populated corridors'
# `Whitefield needs a mass transport system'

BANGALORE: The State Government may take a decision on extending the metro rail network to Whitefield and Madivala on February 22 or 23.

Managing Director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) V. Madhu said here on Wednesday that a survey had revealed that more than 25,000 people move in one direction during peak hours through places such as Central Silk Board and it was a fit case to extend the metro rail.

Addressing the members of Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FKCCI), Mr. Madhu promised to take up the case of Whitefield at the meeting. A member pointed out that Whitefield had emerged a hub of activity and needed mass transport system such as the metro. Mr. Madhu said it was prudent to have the metro along corridors of thickly populated areas and hubs of activity. More number of people needed to be moved in and out of such areas. Bangalore's Central Business District (CBD) would see three-fold increase in the movement of people once the metro became operational. Once that happens, Chickpet and surrounding areas could grow faster. CBD grew faster in most countries that had opted for the Metro.

The work on the elevated structure for the Metro on M.G. Road could begin by month-end or early March. He said the traffic might not be affected from Anil Kumble junction to Brigade Road as the work would be mainly restricted to the boulevard. Beyond this, the work would take up to eight metres of the road.

This would affect the flow of traffic. The work would be restricted to a stretch of 200 to 300 metres at any given point of time to minimise inconvenience. The volunteers of the contractor would man the traffic.

A draft traffic diversion plan was ready and it would be discussed with the police and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) before announcing it.

The BMRCL would ensure that there was no much debris left on the road. Even the tyres of the vehicles moving out of the work areas would be washed.

The contracting company was identifying the quarries to dump the waste generated. He agreed to the suggestion to put in place a mechanism to hear public views and grievances on the metro construction.

Mr. Madhu said the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had agreed to give 140 shops in Sarjapur to be given to the businessmen displaced to build the metro.

Talks were on to acquire more shops elsewhere. The modalities of distribution of the shops were yet to be worked out.

Mr. Madhu reiterated that Singapore-like common "Octopus card" would be introduced. Using it, people could pay for metro rail, city buses and taxies.


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