Road block for world-class railway station

Road block for world-class railway station

Once again, the problem has occurred over land. Sources in the Railways say that the state government has asked the Railways to deposit Rs 200 crore in advance if they want possession of 90 acres belonging to NGEF.

The project was expected to be implemented through Public Private Participation (PPP) model and it was impossible for them to cough up such huge amounts well in advance of even commencing the project, the source claimed.

Fresh plans are now being drawn keeping in mind the the land already available with the Railways which is less than 90 acres. “We are now preparing a RFP (Request for Proposal) by confining our plans to the land already available to us,” the official said.

The source also commented that whatever amount could be paid for the land had to be done by the developer and the funds they could raise. “We cannot pay the money ourselves in advance as it is too huge an amount. Normally it would be the developer who would pay the money, but for that we have to identify the interested party first. But here they are asking us to pay the money first,” the source explained. The 90 acres of land in question is presently under litigation and the state government is not in a position to hand it over to Railways.

At present there is no indication about how this would change plans for the station as the Railways say that they have to start all over again about the facilities that could be constructed. It is likely that they might go for fewer platforms as Phase 1 and then expand as and when the land becomes available.

The world class railway station at Byappanahalli was conceived to accommodate the large passenger traffic flowing through the rail stations. Both the City station and Yeshwantpur Railway station have expanded to their full capacity and have no space to accommodate more trains or passengers. Land crunch has been giving problems at the City station as well and the Railways is trying to work out a arrangement to occupy three acres of Binny Mills land to add more platforms.

Krupa Parthasarathy, Teacher

“ At Malleswaram station, most of the staff are North Indians and they cannot understand or reply to our queries in Kannada. The people at the inquiry counters also do not answer questions on the individual ticket fare or concession for senior citizens. They expect everyone to be computer literate and obtain the information online.”

Maju Siddhan, regular traveler

“There are no ramps on the footbridge on Plaform 1 at the Yeswanthpur railway station. As a result, you end up carrying heavy luggage. Also, there is no pre-paid auto counter and the autorickshaw drivers tend to quote exorbitant fare.”

Sudhanshu Mani, Bangalore DRM, SW Rlys:

“We have proposals for expansion of City Railway station and construction of a station at Byappanahalli. This might not happen immediately, but it has been designed keeping the future in mind. A delay on these projects will not affect the running of trains as these will continue. Meanwhile, we have proposed an underground connection from the bus and Metro station to the City railway station.”

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