Monday, December 29, 2008

Metro Rail & HSRL, off the track

Metro Rail & HSRL, off the track
By: Chetan R
Date: 2008-12-29


To cut costs and address immediate connectivity issues, normal train services project mooted

The proposed high speed rail link (HSRL) and Metro Rail projects connecting the city with Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) may soon be dropped.

The infrastructure department, in a bid to 'save' huge investments of Rs 3,600 crore and over Rs 6,000 crore on HSRL and Metro Rail projects respectively, has decided to start normal train services.

The new proposal, which is yet to receive a nod from the BIA, will be implemented on the existing Chickballapur track.

The project proposes to transport passengers to the international airport from the city in an hour. Currently, it takes around two hours to reach the airport from the city by road.

"We will soon start the train services to BIA," said a senior official in the infrastructure department, who didn't want to be quoted. "If things work out and BIA gives the green signal, both HSRL and Metro Rail projects will be scrapped."

Cost cutting?

The infrastructure ministry has mooted this project to provide an immediate solution to the connectivity problem. More importantly, this service would also help save Rs 9,000 crore.

"It's an immediate remedy to the concerns of accessibility to the international airport and an ideal alternative for the HSRL and the Metro, " said Prof M N Srihari, special advisor to the chief minister on infrastructure.

Besides air passengers, it will also help regular commuters.

The proposed Bangalore-BIA train service will be from Bangalore city (Majestic) and Bangalore Cantonment Railway Station to BIA Trumpet Loop. From there the passengers will be taken to BIA through a shuttle service.
Train to BIA

Initially, the service will start with four coaches having a capacity of 1,000. The train will travel from Bangalore city to BIA via Yeshwanthpur.

The service will start once the BIA fulfils the infrastructure requirements. The department has sought details on ticketing offices, shuttle services and the estimation of number of passengers travelling through the service.

However, BIA officials were not available for comments.


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