Bengaluru-Mysuru high-speed rail possible, says Sreedharan

'Travel time between the two cities will be 40 minutes flat'

Bengaluru-Mysuru high-speed rail possible, says Sreedharan
 The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRCL) principal advisor E Sreedharan has said that a high-speed rail line is possible between Bengaluru and Mysuru.

“Our assessment is that 130 km between the two cities can be reduced to 100 km and the speed can be around 200 to 250 km an hour. The travel time between the two cities will be 40 minutes flat. It will cost around Rs 10,000 crore, according to our estimates and study,” Sreedharan said.

The ‘Metro Man’, who was on a personal visit to the City, interacted with mediapersons here on Tuesday.

He said the State government need not worry about the money as it would have to spend only Rs 1,000 crore as investment, while the rest Rs 9,000 crore will come from Japan’s JICA Bank - the Japan International Co-operation Agency. “The JICA has set very good terms for the loan.  First ten years, you need not pay a paisa, and only later your repayment begins. The rate of interest is very low, too. Why should we miss the bus?”
He said that the project could be either underground or elevated, both of which will not lead to land acquisition which is typically a tricky issue.

Sreedharan said that all metros, including Bangalore Metro, should not have IAS officers as managing directors and chief executive officers as technocrats alone can take the right decision.

“The Lucknow and Kochi metros are doing very well as both have technocrats heading the organisations. IAS officers will not know the technicalities of metro and can’t take
on-the- spot decisions,” he said.

He wondered why Bangalore Metro did not consult DMRCL and claimed that the General Consultants, the prime consultant for the Bangalore Metro, was unnecessarily being projected as the only body with expertise.

“DMRCL has expertise which is second to none in the world. General Consultants would not like DMRCL to step in, as they would have to stop the extension of man-months. They were being paid monthly, so why lose money when it’s coming consistently? This was also the reason why we may have been kept away.”

He said he was worried that Bangalore Metro could get into financial crisis and be unable to sustain itself financially.

“My major worry about Bangalore Metro is whether it can be a financially sustainable project given the delays in various sections. Estimates have it that costs have gone up 60 per cent. If so, can Bangalore Metro repay its bank loan and interest? It is working at this juncture almost like an ailing public sector unit,” he said.

E Sreedharan, principal advisor, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation: The State government need not worry as it would have to spend only Rs 1,000 crore as investment, while the rest Rs 9,000 crore will come from Japan’s JICA Bank - the Japan International Co-operation Agency


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