Monday, July 30, 2007

No road leads to International Airport

No road leads to International Airport
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Greenfield International Airport at Devanahalli will be operational in about nine months from now, but the work on connecting roads is unlikely to be completed by that time.

The Airport Expressway, the BIAL’s trumpet flyover and the yet-to-be formulated metro rail route from Cantonment Railway Station to Devanahalli are the only modes of commuting to the international airport. None of these projects will be ready by April next.

Airport Expressway-BMRDA

The 26 km BMRDA Airport Expressway, has been entrusted with the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL).

The Expressway will start near the Hennur-Challakere Stretch on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and then pass through Bidarahalli, Chikka Gubbi, Bagalur to reach Devanahalli.

Talking about the progress on the Expressway, BMRDA Commissioner Sudhir Krishna said, “The entire Airport expressway project has been submitted to the KRDCL. The survey work of the expressway has begun. The boundary or marker stones are being laid for the road alignment. The entire project will be on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.”

“A request for qualification of concessionaires was announced and about 26 concessionaires have been considered. The selection is under progress and whoever qualifies will bid the documents,” explained Sudhir Krishna.

The hitch in the progress would be land acquisition says the BMRDA Commissioner.

“Works will begin in September. However, the hurdle in the works will be land acquisition. It would take about 15-18 months for the completion of the Airport expressway project,” said Sudhir Krishna.

BIAL expressway starts near Horamavu and first 2 km from ORR is an all-elevated 6-lanes design, with Clover leaf exchange planned at Peripheral Ring Road. This expressway too ends up on NH7 airport link road, and not on NH7 itself.

Rail Link to BIAL

The rail link to the BIAL will however be another slow starter for the connectivity to the International airport.

What may be disappointing is the time factor as to when the project would begin. Although rail link would be a great relief for commuting, the works will not begin before 2009.

Sriramulu, Minister for Infrastructure Development, says, “A metro rail, as per the world class standards, will be laid for the connectivity till airport. The metro rail connectivity to Airport will be discussed in the cabinet.”

“The works will begin earliest by 2009 after the airport is operational” added Sriramulu. What is ironical is even if the rail alignment to Airport works begin in 2009 it could easily take six to eight years for the completion of the project.

BIAL trumpet flyover

A breather for the connectivity however seems to be the ‘trumpet flyover’.

Although the trumpet flyover was supposed to be built by the state government, it backed off the project.

However, the trumpet flyover project is now being constructed by the BIAL. The trumpet flyover project may also be delayed, as one of the road-over-bridges will not be constructed on time due to land litigations.


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