Cabinet moots cess for airport Metro

Cabinet moots cess for airport Metro

The Cabinet on Monday cleared the eagerly awaited Metro line connecting the city with the Kempegowda International Airport.

The project is estimated to cost Rs 5,950 crore, and is scheduled to be operational by 2021.

The government also proposed a passenger service charge of Rs 60-80 on fliers to raise Rs 1,000 crore towards the construction of the line.

Currently, the airport collects a user development fee of Rs 1,537 from international passengers and Rs 384 from domestic passengers.

“The passenger service charge is over and above what the airport is levying. The UDF is for the infrastructure the airport provides, whereas we have proposed a fee for providing Metro connectivity to the airport,” said Mahendra Jain, additional chief secretary (urban development), who holds additional charge as managing director of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.

The decision to levy a charge on airport passengers will need approval from the Centre’s civil aviation ministry and the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India.

“Now that the Cabinet has approved it, we will send a formal proposal to the agencies concerned,” Jain said.

9 routes considered

The Metro line to the airport will be an extension of the Gottigere-Nagawara line under Phase 2B.

Earlier this year, the Metro authorities had proposed nine routes to the airport originating from KR Puram and Nagawara. The government eventually chose the latter starting point.

“The line will have seven stations and a 2021 deadline,” Law Minister T B Jayachandra said, briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

Karnataka hopes to get Rs 500 crore from the Centre under the Metro Rail Policy. The state government itself will put in Rs 1,250 crore, including Rs 250 crore of Karnataka’s GST share. A lion’s share (54%) will be raised through loans adding up to Rs 3,200 crore.

Short deadlines

The government has set specific timelines for the project:

Three months for land acquisition, three months for tendering, six months for award of contracts; and 30 months for civil works.

The ruling Congress is planning to lay the foundation stone for the project ahead of the Assembly election in early 2018.

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