Friday, October 24, 2008


Road widening is speeding up, and underpass work is in full swing. The road to the new airport will have a few additions, with work starting on the high-speed rail, elevated corridor and a second highway next year. S Kushala brings you a lowdown on what is in store

Bangalore: When the National Highway leading to Bengaluru International Airport starts getting crunched next year with huge concrete pillars of a rail and road corridor looming up along the stretch, travellers can zoom on a second road to the airport.
After BMRDA’s ambitious expressway to Devanahalli fell through due to land acquisition and alignment-related litigation, a second road to BIA is on the drawing board of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The authorities, who have completed the feasibility study, have structured the six-lane road on a 21-km stretch from Banaswadi to Devanahalli.
This time, NHAI officials have taken care so that the alignment does not give rise to land litigation, like in the case of the jinxed BMRDA road. The new road will be tolled and NHAI will freeze the alignment shortly.
“We want to avoid land acquisition problems as much as possible. Once people approach the courts and get a stay, the project remains a non-starter. Alignment will be frozen in such a way that it does not run over large patches of private lands and water bodies,’’ said NHAI officials.
Elevated corridor
NHAI is also planning as road-over-road, a part of the Devanahalli corridor improvement project at a cost of Rs 250 crore, which will run up to 4 km. The NHAI roadmap to the airport is designed like this — after Hebbal flyover, climb the elevated corridor and travel up to Yelahanka. There, hit the grade which will be widened to 10 lanes, reach the trumpet inter-change and get into the airport.
High-speed rail
The high-speed rail link (HSRL) will start from MG Road, run along the right side of the NH (from city to BIA) at a distance of 23 m from the median, and will have a 5-m gap with the proposed elevated road corridor which NHAI is proposing.
To cater to the swelling traffic in future, NHAI is looking at expanding the existing six-lane stretch to a 10-lane road, for which about 60 hectares of land need to be acquired, that will be shared with the high-speed rail project. This will include acquisition of some private land, for which the compensation component will be high, considering the realty boom in the northern parts of Bangalore, post BIA.
The HSRL alignment, which will start from the fifth lane of the highway, is estimated to cost Rs 5,200 crore, including an estimated Rs 530 crore towards land acquisition. The Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation (KSIIDC), which is doing the project, is preparing to start work by May 2009 — around 27 companies have evinced interest in the pre-application conference.
The HSRL will be integrated at two places with Metro — at Minsk Square of Metro Phase I and Yelahanka of Metro Phase II. Phase II of Metro is aimed at connecting the Electronic City areas with BIA via MG Road-Tannery Road-Nagawara-Yelahanka.
The 34-km HSRL will start from BRV Grounds and will go underground at the airport. It will run along the northern side of Metro Rail. The project will have another integration with the proposed Monorail at Hebbal. The 60-km Monorail project will run from south to west.
HSRL faced a hitch in its initial days — the alignment was found to be clashing with the NHAI’s elevated corridor. Since the train was planned at the centre of the road to avoid land acquisition problems, its alignment was found to be overlapping with the elevated road. Finally, the two projects were realigned in such a way that they both co-exist.
The high speed train will comprise a city air terminal (CAT) at BRV Grounds, and will have two stops — Hebbal and Yelahanka. Checkin and baggage facilities would be extended at CAT and Hebbal stopover, while only baggage facility will be facilitated at Yelahanka stop


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