Saturday, May 15, 2010

Biggies eye airport rail link project

Biggies eye airport rail link project

A roadmap is in place for establishing a 1,000-acre
aerospace park, bio-tech city, financial district, hardware park, hospitality industries, and a residential township in Devanahalli, report Prahlad Rao and Hemanth Kumar

Prahlad Rao and Hemanth Kumar

Devanahalli will define Bangalore's future notwithstanding whether water is available to support the mega plans that have been lined up as part of the Sub-City project coming up in the town. The infrastructure department is speeding up all projects in that direction, including the high-speed rail link (HSRL), to the Bengaluru International Airport.
Presenting a detailed plan of action for the development of infrastructure to enable Karnataka to attain a gross domestic product growth rate of 9%, infrastructure minister G Janardhana Reddy and his principal secretary, V Madhu, on Friday unveiled a vertical path to future. This leap in faith will begin in Bangalore with the finalisation of the contract for the HSRL to the international airport.
The investment proposals for Devanahalli Sub-City will guarantee generation of employment for nearly one million skilled workers. Though the HSRL is meant for airport passengers, it will act as a catalyst for the growth being planned in and around the BIA.
Devanahalli Sub-City will house a 1,000-acre aerospace park, bio-tech city, financial district, hardware park, hospitality industries and a residential township.
Six companies — Pioneer Infratech and Siemens Project Ventures, Lanco Infratech and OHL Concesiones, Larsen and Toubro, Reliance Infrastructure, and CSR Nanjing Puzhen Rolling Stock and ITD-SOMA enterprises — have been shortlisted for implementing the HSRL project. The Centre would provide Rs1,000 crore for the project, while the private partner would bring in about Rs5,000 crore. The bidder would be finalised by August, Madhu said.
Asserting that the HSRL was needed for a speed link to the airport, Madhu said that Metro would not be feasible because there was not much of volume of passengers towards the airport. Consultants for preparing the detailed project report for the first phase of the monorail project between JP Nagar and Hebbal would be finalised in 45 days, he said.
Reddy and Madhu presented the contours of 87 projects that entail a total investment of Rs85,722 crore for the infrastructure department. They expressed the confidence that the forthcoming Global Investors' Meet (GIM) would register investment commitments of over Rs2.50 lakh crore for the state.
"Of the 87 projects, 52 are in the transport sector requiring an investment of Rs34,440 crore, 10 projects are for industrial infrastructure involving an investment of Rs41,231 crore, and six are related to civic amenities in municipalities that need an investment of Rs253 crore," Reddy said.
Apart from the speed rail projects for Bangalore, the government is taking up 21 railway projects to improve rail connectivity in the state to spread economic growth to all the regions. The state government is bearing 50% of the cost of these projects. The rail network density in the state is 16 km per 1,000 sq km of territory compared to 30 km/1,000 sq km in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
Madhu admitted that the state needed to improve the availability of power to realise its ambitious plans and attract private participation. The Dabhol-Bidadi gas pipeline project would see three 700 mw gas-based power projects in the state. The pipeline would also bring piped cooking gas straight into the houses in 11 major cities and towns of the state, including Bangalore.


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