Cantonment Metro: BMRCL sticks to its plan

New metro station be located 1 km away from railway station.

Bengaluru: Though the South Western Railway (SWR) had declared that it was willing to coordinate with BMRCL to provide land for Cantonment Metro station, the latter is reluctant to change the proposed station location, which is nearly a kilometre away from Cantonment railway station.

BMRCL had earlier cited land acquisition issues while deciding on the Metro station location and had chosen a BBMP playground, which it would get for free. However after SWR expressed its willingness to help BMRCL, it now claims there are a host of other reasons for the choosing the playground site. "The new alignment is 800 metres shorter than the old one and will save Rs 250 crore. It will reduce construction time by six months and reduce running time of trains by a minute," stated Pradeep Singh Kharola, MD, BMRCL.

Apart from the above reasons, Kharola also said the old alignment would have required a much deeper tunnel. "In the old alignment, the tunnel will have to be deeper as it goes under the Cantonment Railway station. That is not the case with the new one. The cost of the land will be lesser and the chosen track will go through a more densely populated area, catering to more people."

Bone of contention

However residents and experts contend that the two modes of transport would be separated by a kilometre. However, Kharola countered the argument saying a walkway would connect directly to the railway platform, cutting down the distance to 250 metres.

Transport Expert Sanjeev Dyamannavar, who has been following the Cantonment station integration and alignment, said, "Instead of trying to save six months of construction time, they could have started work earlier after the DPR was announced in 2014. Saving Rs 250 crore is little against the cost overrun caused by delay in calling tenders for this stretch.”

Referring to other reasons cited by BMRCL, Dyamannavar commented, “The footfall is going to be huge if they integrate with Cantonment railway. There are four roads connecting the railway station from all sides, and two major BMTC bus stops nearby - Shivajinagar and Mekhri Circle."

In his opinion, the buses already stop right in front of the railway station giving the best connectivity in Bengaluru, with all three modes of

transport. Reducing travel time/track length or how much underground they need to dig, is secondary, he opined.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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