Land acquisition for Metro's Anjanapura depot hits 3rd roadblock

Land acquisition for Metro's Anjanapura depot hits 3rd roadblock

The land acquisition for the construction of a depot in Anjanapura, South Bengaluru, as part of Namma Metro's Reach 4B  has hit another stumbling block. The Forest Department says it hasn't yet given its approval for the project near UM Kaval Tree Park.  

The BMRCL had proposed the location near the intersection of  Nice Road with Thalaghattapura Main Road (Pipe Line Road) for the depot and parking lot of 4.29-km-long Yelachenahalli-Anjanapura line. In September, Bengaluru Development Minister K J George  had claimed that the Forest Department had given in-principle approval for the line.

However, on Monday, after surveying the land in contention, the department clarified that no approval  had yet been given to the BMRCL. "They have requested us for two hectares of land in the UM Kaval Tree Park. We are yet to clear the file. We are not against development, but we will give land only when we are given suitable land in return," said a forest department official.  

The BMRCL has already changed its location two times this year. Earlier, it was to acquire 6.33  hectares in survey numbers 124 and 126 near the Turahalli reserve forest. But safety concerns arose when two CRPF men were trampled to death by a wild elephant  at the nearby Taralu village on May 7, 2017.  

The chief secretary intervened and the BMRCL was convinced to shift  the proposed depot  towards the Devika Rani Roerich Estate. The location was shifted again to the Nice Road junction. It's at this very place that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is expanding Kanakapura Road (NH209).

Forest officials have put a condition on the land swap: the BMRCL will have to construct a free elephant movement underpass to connect the existing elephant corridor to ensure there is no man-elephant conflict. "We will prepare the design of the corridor," the official said.

In return, the Forest Department wants land near Bandipur or Nagarahole Tiger Reserves while the BMRCL offered it land near the Bannerghatta National Park.    

Meantime, the BMRCL has claimed that the depot is essential to run regular services on the extended Green Line. After a change in alignment, it settled for a smaller depot, which was to be used as a shunting yard for minor repairs. In the absence of such a facility,  the BMRCL  will be forced to run trains from the Peenya depot, which is not a feasible option, an official said.  

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