Much to the delight of activists who have been protesting the shifting of the Cantonment metro station, the BMRCL on Saturday conducted a survey to assess the land requirement for the project.
Officials of the BMRCL's engineering department studied the land requirement along the original alignment on Miller's Road and Nandidurg Road among other places.
The survey comes after the state government directed the BMRCL to examine the possibility of building the metro station as per the original alignment. The government and the BMRCL have faced opposition from activists after the alignment of the proposed metro station was changed.
The original alignment proposed the metro station right opposite the railway station. As per the new plan,
the metro station will be built on a BBMP playground behind the Madina Masjid in Bamboo Bazaar, almost a kilometre away from the railway station.
A source in the BMRCL said the survey was a preliminary exercise and didn't mean they were returning to the original alignment. "We are preparing a report on the damage that can be caused by the realignment," he said.
As expected, activists were elated to find that the survey has begun at the original location. Sanjeev Dyamannavar, an urban commute expert, welcomed the survey. "It's a positive step by the BMRCL. It should remove all the concerns of the BMRCL which should locate the mid shaft in such a way that few properties and people are disturbed. Citizens hope the BMRCL does it in the right spirit and intention for constructing the metro station opposite the railway station," he added.
The BMRCL source noted that the assessment was done in accordance with the detailed project report which requires a shaft to be built to lower the tunnel boring machine at a distance of every 700 metres along the route.
"For the shaft near the Cantonment, about an acre of land will be required near Mangalya apartment on Nandidurg Road.
"Some other buildings in the surroundings, including Nepal House, could also go," the source said.
The land next to the railway station is formed of hard rock that requires blasting and could pose threat to nearby buildings, he added. "We are following the DPR. The chances of making changes in the alignment are slight as there is a huge curve involved. A detailed report on the land requirement for the original and the new alignment will be placed before the government which will take the final call," he said.