Chief Minister likely to call a meeting to review controversial decision

The State government might reconsider its decision on the realignment of Namma Metro Phase 2, which was taken to save a portion of the property of the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research on Bannerghatta Road.

This follows public outrage over change in alignment, which requires over 1.65 lakh sq ft of land and 3.25 lakh sq ft of buildings, including the swallowing up of the dwellings of 54 senior citizens.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is likely to call a meeting to review the decision taken by the previous government, sources in Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), told The Hindu.

The original alignment of R.V. Road-Bommasandra line (18.8 km), which was in the middle of the Inner Ring Road, would have taken a left turn at the junction of IRR and Bannerghatta Road to avoid the flyover. The interchange metro station of R.V. Road-Bommasandra line and Gottigere-Nagavara line (21.2 km) would have been located inside the parking lot of Jayadeva, on the northwest side of the IRR-Bannerghatta Road junction.

After representation from Jayadeva hospital director C.N. Manjunath, the high-power committee (HPC) headed by the Chief Secretary directed BMRCL to change the alignment. The new alignment was designed to take a right turn before the flyover and pass through private properties.

Ajay Seth, the then Principal Secretary, Finance (Expenditure), also insisted that the government would support BMRCL in all respects, including providing additional funds to ensure that the decision of the HPC to change the alignment was implemented.

After the public outcry by residents affected by the changed alignment, the BMRCL has washed its hands off the issue stating it was not involved in the decision to change the alignment. A senior official said: “The BMRCL is only the implementing agency of the government, and is executing the works as directed by it [HPC].”

Alternatives

Now that the government is also aware of the objections to the alignment change, it might reconsider its earlier decision, sources said.

“As the legislature session is on, the government might take a call on the issue this weekend or next week,” the official said.

HPC’s directive

On the issue of working out an alternative alignment within a short period of three months, the official said the HPC had directed the BMRCL to be prepared with alternative alignments.

Centre’s clarification

“At this juncture, going underground to avoid either Jayadeva or private properties is out of the question as the project cost would escalate.” The Union government has already sought clarification on the Gottigere-Nagavara line going underground from Dairy Circle till Nagavara and the high cost of construction, the official said. While underground construction costs Rs. 400 crore per km, elevated construction costs Rs. 175 crore a km, he said.

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