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Skywalk eludes Metro commuters in Majestic

Chiranjeevi Kulkarni, Bengaluru, DH News Service, Sep 10 2017, 2:16 IST
The South Western Railway has built a third entry to the Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna railway station. DH Photo

The South Western Railway has built a third entry to the Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna railway station. DH Photo

Thousands of commuters struggle to commute between Kempegowda Metro Station and Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station everyday.

However, the BMRCL has been sitting on a Railways’ request to provide safe access even as the BBMP decided to build a skywalk.

The South Western Railway has built a third entry to the bustling Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna (KSR) railway station but has decided not to open it till the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) builds a skywalk connecting the railway and metro station.

It was on August 17, 2016, that the then Divisional Railway Manager Sanjiv Agarwal wrote to BMRCL making two requests to increase the convenience of passengers at KSR railway station that handles 88 trains a day and sees a daily footfall of 2.2 lakh.

“Two metro stations cover this railway station. Passengers find it difficult to commute between Kempegowda Metro Station and KSR Railway Station due to lack of convenient access. An additional entry to the railway station has been constructed opposite to the Metro station. It is requested...to construct a skywalk connecting Kempegowda metro station and the third entry,” the letter states.

BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola said he has held discussions with Railways officials on identifying the space required for the landing of the skywalk. “The skywalk will be built jointly with the BBMP. We have sought the Railways to identify the space for the landing of the skywalk on its property. Work will begin once the process is complete,” he said.

Asked about the possible date for opening the third entry, DRM R S Saxena said the railways would not like to “leave passengers on to the busy road without safe access”.

“Safety of passengers gets priority and we can’t discharge passengers onto the busy road. They have to provide connectivity the way they deem it better. So, we have decided not to open the third entry till our passengers get safe access,” he said.

Sources said though the BMRCL offered to build the skywalk for the third entry, the BBMP rejected it saying tenders have been called for building the facility under design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) model.

“This is nothing but an easy way to make money through giving advertisement rights. Though a subway is more suitable for the congested place, officials have decided for skywalk, which will not be used by anyone,” they added.

The Railways has also requested space for a ticket counter “with minimum requirements” on the skywalk being built by BMRCL from City Railway Metro station towards Platform 10.

“Provision of a (ticket) counter on the skywalk will greatly help commuters purchasing a unreserved ticket,” the letter states.

The BMRCL officials said they have agreed to provide the space. However, the construction of the skywalk is yet to be completed.

“The skybridge from City Railway Metro station was planned in 2008. The bridge is not done even after the metro station was inaugurated over a year ago. Lack of coordination between agencies has forced people to walk on the road, risking their lives,” Urban Transport Expert Sanjeev Dyamannavar said.

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