Residents shocked as alignment takes serpentine turn

The proposed Narayanapura metro station was erased, Doddanekundi Industrial Area Station added, the alignment extended by 1 km and, curiously, the line has taken a serpentine detour — all at the insistence of the former Health and Family Welfare Minister Aravind Limbavali, who clearly has had a big say in the framing of Namma Metro Phase 2 in the east-west corridor, documents with The Hindu reveal.

On the other hand, when ordinary taxpaying residents sought change in the alignment and reduction of the route length of the extension line between Byappanahalli and Whitefield (15.5 km with 14 stations), Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) rejected it saying it was economically not feasible.

Residents of Mahadevapura and Hoody villages, had, on October 4 last year, urged BMRCL to take the alignment straight on Mahadevapura Main Road from Garudacharpalya via Hoody junction towards Whitefield.

The detailed project report (DPR) showed the alignment taking a detour via the Visvesvarya Industrial Estate and Vydehi Hospital, entailing acquisition of huge properties, residents had said. There were no similar detours in the city and the areas proposed to be fed by the metro could be served by feeder buses, they had said.

It took BMRCL less than a week to brush them off. More than 70 per cent of the route has open, yet-to-be developed areas. The DPR alignment covered hospitals, a BMTC terminal, more industries and IT parks ensuring higher ridership on Namma Metro, BMRCL had said.

U-turn

However, within three months, BMRCL and the government appeared to have changed the stand, at least partially. This was in response to the then Health and Family Welfare Minister and Mahadevapura MLA Aravind Limbavali’s demand for Namma Metro reach till Hoody.

BMRCL, which had rejected the demand to take the line straight via Hoody towards ITPL, informed Mr. Limbavali that the government’s high-power committee (HPC) had agreed to his suggestion on January 9.

Consequently, the alignment will extend to Hoody Junction, take a U-turn near Hoody Junction and run along Hoody Main Road and join the original alignment before Visvesvaraya Industrial Area station. BMRCL’s letter to Mr. Limbavali says that the route will increase by 1.039 km with this change. The average cost of 1 km is Rs. 175 crore. Added to this will be the cost of acquisition and demolition.

This about-turn has left shocked residents wondering why the route length was increased while they had been demanding its reduction. Moreover, such a U-shaped alignment is unheard of in metro networks.

At the insistence of Mr. Limbavali, the Narayanapura metro station between K.R. Puram and Mahadevapura stations was deleted on the grounds that it involved acquisition and demolition of more properties.

Another demand

He also demanded that the Mahadevapura station be located near the police station and that the Garudacharpalya metro station he shifted longitudinally 80 m towards Whitefield. BMRCL informed Mr. Limbavali that this proposal too was cleared by the HPC in its meeting on October 9, 2012.

Repeated attempts to contact Mr. Limbavali, Mahadevapura MLA, failed.

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