10 yrs on, Majestic intermodal transit hub yet to begin

Over a decade after planning the intermodal transit hub at Majestic, the government has consistently looked away even as increased traffic congestion has choked the area where poor planning and lack of integration have led to chaos.

As the bus station at Majestic completed 50 years earlier this month, officials noted that the crisis caused by the lack of integration in the area needs immediate attention.

The first plan to set up was first drawn in 2005, but the then management had to put it aside due to the lack of clarity on the metro. To a question, retired IAS officer M R Srinivasa Murthy, who was then the managing director of KSRTC, said commuting in Majestic was a major problem even in 2005.

“We prepared a plan. But had to wait for the completion of the metro project, particularly the intersection of the two lines which would determine the metro station and surrounding area. Considering that the situation has worsened today, the project needs to be taken up immediately,” said.

In 2011, a draft feasibility report proposed an intermodal transit hub providing seamless connectivity between metro, BMTC and KSRTC buses. The proposal included a 40-storey building, whose commercial and office space was expected to bring in revenue for the corporation.

The plan consolidated the area of BMTC and KSRTC and the hub was to come upon 32.5 acres. Of the 44 acres, nearly 8 acres were given to the Kempegowda metro station.

However, the estimated cost of Rs 1,800 crore that only one bidder met the conditions made the officials take a step back. “Three major companies had expressed interest in the project. But only one met the conditions. There was a concern that awarding the project to the lone bidder would lead to controversy,” a KSRTC official said.

A retired official, who was part of the corporation during the time, said the government showed no interest in taking up the proposal. “The project was later modified to reduce the cost to Rs 1,200 crore. But KSRTC was seen as an isolated agency. No one in the government tried to follow up on the project. So, it was eventually forgotten,” the official said.

When the project was conceived, the vehicle population in the city was about 30 lakh. As per the recent reports, the number of vehicles in the city has crossed 80 lakh.

Last year, KSRTC renewed its efforts to build the hub at Majestic and invited bids to select a consultant for preparing a new detailed project report. “Since only one bidder expressed interest, we had to call the tender again. The technical proposals and the financial proposals will be evaluated soon,” an official said.

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