Focus on Phase-II ends commercial plans at Baiyyappanahalli

Plans by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to develop a 10.15-acre parcel of land around the Baiyyappanahalli Metro Station have come to a jarring halt as the Corporation prepares to employ all its resources for Phase II of the Metro — which is still awaiting official clearance. 

According to sources in the Corporation, plans were made to develop commercial spaces around the station. The Corporation had even invited tenders for the development of a “Commuter Lifestyle Centre,” based on a public-private-partnership mode. The land around the station was to have been as split into two, non-contiguous parcels of land measuring 4.52 acre and 5.63 acre, respectively. The Corporation had drawn up ambitious plans to develop multi-faceted convention and exhibition facilities on the land, mirroring the India habitat Centre in New Delhi.

Three-star hotel

“There were also plans for a three-star business hotel, a corporate/institutional office space, an exclusive business centre with variable-sized meeting and private conference rooms, fully-serviced corporate guest houses, multi-cuisine restaurants, coffee shops, a hypermarket and a multiplex,” a source said.

The plan also included development of a convention-cum-hospitality centre, with one convention hall capable of holding 1,500 people and three conference halls with a cumulative capacity of 7,850. “An art gallery was also to be built,” another source said.
While no estimates are available about the cost of the project, experts said that it is essential that the Corporation develop such facilities. “A rail service by itself does not generate much revenue, considering constraints on ticket prices and other factors. Therefore, it is important for agencies running Metro services to have station-based facilities, which can help bring in extra income.”

Two bidders

While the development project attracted two bidders, a decision was made to scrap the bids and use the land for other purposes.

“The bids have been discharged,” said N Sivasailam, Managing Director, BMRCL, and explained that the project had been conceived at a time when the Corporation’s agenda was relatively clear. “Phase II was not even on the agenda, back then,” he said. “But, given that it is the priority now, it has been decided to use the land as a “works area,” to be used by contractors while implementing Phase II.” He added that land will be used as a “works” area for the next three to four years, but declined to say what would happen to it once Phase II was completed.

Project scrapped

In addition, the BMRCL has also discharged a bid for the construction of SV Tower, an office building to be built on 1.4 acres of land, adjoining Swami Vivekananda (SV) station.
“The Corporation has two acres there and a part of it is being used for parking,” a source said. “The remaining area was to be developed commercially and we had seen one bidder show interest.” Sivasailam, however, said that the bid has been scrapped and that the Corporation will itself construct a commercial building there, to house its corporate/commercial offices.

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