Key Metro lines dropped for elevated corridor project?

Last Updated 26 March 2019, 19:32 IST

Was a Phase-3 Metro line entirely scrapped and another line truncated to make way for elevated corridors on the two stretches? The 17.10 km East-West Corridor-2 from Richmond Circle to Varthur passes almost entirely along the 21-km Metro Phase 3 line initially proposed by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL).

The Hoskerehalli-Marathahalli line was designed to cater mainly to areas on either side of Old Airport Road. Currently, none of the Metro lines or suburban railways passes through this highly congested stretch.

First proposed to the Urban Development Ministry in May 2016, this Phase 3 line did not find mention in the 2018-19 state budget. Another line from Yelahanka to Carmelaram was truncated from Iblur to Carmelaram.

Besides Marathahalli on its eastern end, the proposed Metro line to Hoskerehalli was to serve HAL, Konena Agrahara, Murugeshpalya, Domlur, Command Hospital, D’Souza Circle, Vellara Junction and Town Hall (new interchange station with the Cameralaram-Yelahanka line).

Further ahead, the line would touch K R Market (interchange station with the existing green line), R K Ashram, Srinivas Nagar, and Seetha Circle before reaching Hoskerehalli on the Outer Ring Road.

The Hoskerehalli-Marathahalli line was part of a BMRCL presentation on five Phase 3 lines reviewed by the Ministry of Urban Development. Engineering consultancy firm, RITES had been engaged to prepare the pre-feasibility study for each of these lines over the next nine months. A detailed project report (DPR) was to be ready in 18 months.

However, before anything moved on Metro Phase 3, the controversial pod taxi project was proposed along the same route.

Now, that the taxi project has been effectively shelved, the Elevated Corridor project has surfaced as a definite Metro killer on the stretch.

Another proposed Phase 3 Metro line, from Yelahanka to Carmelaram would also have come into direct conflict with the North-South corridor from Hebbal to Silk Board junction.

This 32-km Metro line had its alignment marked through Hebbal, Mehkri Circle, Guttahalli, Chalukya Circle, Central College, Town Hall, Poornima Talkies, Shanthinagar, Dairy Circle, Forum Mall, Koramangala water tank, Agara, Iblur, Wipro and Carmelaram along Sarjapur Road.

Strangely, the two lines which were in the Phase 3 pipeline for years, disappeared when the government cleared a proposal to prepare the DPR for Phase 3 in its 2017-18 budget.

Neither the 2018-19 budget nor the recent budget presented by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy made mention of the lines, critical for central business district (CBD) mass mobility.

Urban mobility analysts are wondering why an elevated corridor project was being preferred over Metro lines in the CBD area.

(Published 26 March 2019, 19:04 IST)

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