BMRCL to fall back on Centre's Metro policy

The BMRCL is also yet to complete the land acquisition process for the ORR. DH file photo

A week after cancelling the tender for Outer Ring Road (ORR) Metro line, the BMRCL has sought to fix several gaps in policy, including the need for a comprehensive mobility plan and united transport authority, to ensure that the projects fit into the Metro Rail Policy 2017.

Ajay Seth, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Managing Director, said apart from the fact that the lowest bidder (IL & FS) was caught in a financial crisis, there were several issues, including the proposal not aligning with the Center’s Metro policy.

He said while the Centre has in-principle agreed to support the project, it has been pointed out that the projects have to comply with the Metro policy that came into effect in August last year. The Centre has stipulated several conditions for funding Metro projects.

“To fit in the Metro policy, the city proposing a Metro project should have a comprehensive mobility plan, transit-oriented development policy and united metropolitan transport authority. Some of these are in the draft stage, and we hope to meet all the requirements in three months. Following this we will propose the ORR line,” he said.

The issues were discussed when officials from the state government met their counterparts in the Union ministry of urban development and housing affairs last week in New Delhi.

Additionally, the BMRCL has also been told to prepare an analysis of alternative modes of transport on the ORR.

“This is to know whether the Metro is the right solution on a particular stretch. We have taken up the study and it should be completed in 15 days,” he said.

Financial constraints

The corporation is seeking funding from multilateral development banks, which provide finance only after they clear the tender documents for the project.

“The multilateral banks had not cleared the previous tender (for Rs 1,229.95 crore). If we go to domestic banks, we are looking at a prohibitive 9% interest rate for a 10-year period. So, financially were not well prepared,” he said.

Also, the land acquisition process for the ORR is yet to be completed. “Though we are going on the median, we need private land at several places, especially for stations. We also have to shift utilities on the stretch,” he said.

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BMRCL to fall back on Centre's Metro policy

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