Wednesday, January 07, 2009

HSRL is cheaper and ideal: Sreedharan

HSRL is cheaper and ideal: Sreedharan
S Praveen Dhaneshkar,P M Raghunandan,DH News Service,Bangalore:
DMRC Chief E Sreedharan has warned the State government that any talk of an alternative to high speed rail link to Bangalore International Airport at this juncture, would dissuade and discourage the private companies, which have come forward to implement the project.

“The government should never think of a metro to the airport in the present context and once the HSRL is in position, there will be no need for a metro at all,” he stated in the letter to the CM.
According the DMRC MD, HSRL costs only Rs 3,800 crore, while metro to BIA costs at least Rs 5,000 crore. Moreover, the government has to make huge investments as equity for metro, while HSRL is proposed on public private partnership model and the government would spend only a small amount.
However, Prof M N Sreehari, Advisor to the State government for Traffic, Transport and Infrastructure and expert member, ABIDe said, “The whole aim of an alternative is to suggest alternatives that are cost effective or worth implementing with the available infrastructure. One proposal already sent to the SWR entails running the train that terminates at Yerthaganahalli, near the trumpet interchange loop to BIA. With available infrastructure the SWR has to just construct a station. It will be a one hour journey. A reply from the SWR is awaited.”

Metro too in race

Meanwhile, the BMRCL also confirmed receiving a proposal from the Infrastructure Development Department asking it to conduct a pre-feasibility survey to connect the BIA from Byappanahalli, with it having an advantage of being a depot and terminating point of metro rail in the Eastern part of the City.

Revival of proposal

N Sivasailam, MD of BMRCL said, “RITES had earlier (2005) done a report to have the ‘Namma Metro’ run upto Devanahalli. It will be a fresh relook into reviving the proposal. We should be able to complete the survey project in three times time. The Ministry of Urban Development (MuD) at the Centre would contribute 80 per cent of the project cost, while the State will fund the remaining 20 percent”
HSRL global tenders a waste of time and money ?
Over Rs 7 crore of tax-payers’ money will go down the drain if HSRL project is scrapped. Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation (KSIIDC), the nodal agency entrusted to implement the project, has so far completed nearly nine per cent of work.
“We had called for global expression of interest for the Rs 5,700 crore HSRL project to BIA on a PPP model has already completed the RFQ (Request for Qualification) process after receiving bids from 27 companies/consortia,” official sources said.
The proposal for HSRL was first mooted in September 2007, during Governor’s rule when P K H Tharakan was special advisor to Rameshwar Thakur.


*HSRL is cheaper than metro
*Metro needs large scale land acquisition
*Metro travel time from city to BIA is one hour, HSRL 23 minutes
*Metro cannot be implemented under PPP model
*Metro not ideal for connecting far off places like BIA
*Metro cannot have check-in facilities
*Metro connecting airport in other countries hardly patronised
*Metro to airport is not part of CTTP plan
*Metro needs heavy subsidies, HSRL does not need any.
*HSRL doesn’t need much land as it runs on pillars
*Metro is viable only if the ridership is over 25,000 per hour per direction
*With B’lore getting into the league of major international cities, HSRL is unavoidable
* Any talk of alternative will de-rail proposed HSRL


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