Dispute over licence fee could halt Namma Metro work


Railways tells BMRCL to stop underground work if Rs. 125 cr. is not paid

The tussle between Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) and the South Western Railway (SWR) over licence fee for utilising railway land for metro underground work appears to have intensified.


Disputing SWR's demand of Rs. 125.702 crore towards balance licence fee to continue tunnelling off Platform Road, BMRCL has appealed to the SWR General Manager to permit the work to continue pending a decision by the Empowered Committee. The work is a part of North-South corridor's underground network between Swastik and K.R. Road.

BMRCL said on Saturday that SWR's Bangalore Division had threatened to stop work off Platform Road if the fee was not fully paid. This was in addition to Rs. 94 crore already deposited with the Railways pending settlement of the issue a year ago, BMRCL said. The State government, an equal partner in the project, has strong reservations about paying the total of Rs. 219 crore as licence fee, saying it should be no more than Rs. 44 crore towards permanent and temporary acquisition of railway land.

Not permanent

A BMRCL press release said the Union Ministry of Urban Development views the tunnelled area and structures under cut-and-cover method as not permanent acquisition, but only a “way leave” facility. On this account, the amount payable to the Railways was less than Rs. 44 crore, it said.

Now the Ministry has referred the matter to the Empowered Committee headed by the Union government's Cabinet Secretary, which is yet to convene a meeting.

BMRCL said the Railways' claim was not included in the project estimates. Any payment had to be preceded by an agreement between the State and Union governments on the manner apportioning the amount.

BMRCL has sought the Union government's expeditious intervention to meet the work schedule.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 6:07:44 PM |

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