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BMRCL 'not bothered' about connecting rail, bus stations

DH News Service, Bengaluru, Sep 12 2017, 2:10 IST
The Yeshwantpura Metro Station. DH Photo

The Yeshwantpura Metro Station. DH Photo

The status of the proposed bridge to link Yeshwantpur Metro and railway stations not only exposes BMRCL’s attitude towards integrating different modes of transport, but also tells us what to expect in Phase 2 Metro stations such as Cantonment.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has given same reply on status of the bridge in replies to two RTI queries separated by a gap of three years.

Urban transport expert Sanjeev Dyamannavar filed the first RTI query in April 2014 and reply came six months later. “BMRCL had written to Railways for development of skywalk between (the) Metro station and Yeshwanthpur Railway station and offered to share the cost. There is no response from Railways. BMRCL is pursuing with Railways authorities,” the BMRCL replied.

As there was no progress, Dyamannavar wrote to the Urban Development Ministry in May 2017. The reply came more than three months later did not indicate any progress.

“Recently, the South Western Railway (SWR) has advised the cost for leasing the land for construction of a foot-over bridge. However, this being a disputed land, further discussions are underway. Once (Railways’) approval is obtained, construction can be undertaken,” BMRCL said.

Dyamannavar said he was amazed that authorities who could not build a 60-metre bridge were now talking about constructing a 500-metre long tunnel between Cantonment Railway Station and Madina Ground, the new location for the Cantonment Metro station. A similar attitude has separated Metro from KSRTC, BMTC and railway stations at Majestic area.

“Lack of a small bridge has inconvenienced thousands of people everyday at Yeshwanthpur for more than three years. Authorities say they are still in talks. At Cantonment, the Metro station was less than 50 metres from the railway station. They are shifting it a kilometre away with a promise of building a tunnel. This not just carelessness, it is impunity,” he said.

Noting that integration was critical in urban transport as roads get more and more congested everyday, the expert said authorities should think from the commuters’ point of view and consider the long-term implications of their decisions. “They don’t consult public and keep civic agencies in dark about their plans. How will they know what people want,” he asked.

Yeshwanthpur and Cantonment railway stations have a footfall of 1 lakh and 50,000, respectively. With the introduction of more suburban rails in the coming days, both the stations will turn into major transit hubs in the next five years.

“By keeping itself away from the railways, Metro is not only losing commuters but also failing its desired objective,” Dyamannavar opined.

DH News Service

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