Seamless access to the newly opened Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal at Baiyappanahalli got a shot in the arm with South Western Railway (SWR) giving in-principle approval for an elevated rotary flyover at IOC junction that has been envisaged by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Almost a year ago, when Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw inspected the terminal, BBMP officials had briefed him about the project as a long-term measure for connecting the terminal with various roads. The SWR and the BBMP held multiple rounds of the meetings to clear the decks for the project. The project has been proposed to provide easy access to the terminal from Kammanahalli Main Road, Maruthi Sevanagar, and other areas.
B.S. Prahalad, chief engineer (Road and Infrastructure), BBMP, said, “Due to the presence of railway lines at the junction, the only solution is to build an elevated rotary flyover. Other than people living in the localities nearby, passengers travelling to the terminal will be benefited as we are providing access to the terminal as well.” He said when the project was conceptualised, it was estimated to cost ₹260 crore, but the revised estimation is likely to touch ₹300 crore.
From Old Madras Road side, the authorities have built a railway overbridge that was opened in January. At present, a two-lane road is available from Old Madras Road to the terminal.
Divisional Railway Manager of Bengaluru Division Shyam Singh said, “In principle, we have given consent to the BBMP. The civic body will come out with a detailed plan for the project. The proposed flyover will be much wider and will benefit vehicles coming from multiple directions.”
The SWR has built the terminal with various amenities to decongest the Yeshwantpur and KSR Bengaluru railway stations by running 32 long-distance trains from the point.
The SWR started commercial operations from the terminal in the first week of June. The services were introduced with three pairs of long-distance trains and now there are close to 20 pairs. Barring this, the SWR is also running local trains from the point to Majestic, Bangarpet and others. The newly opened station witnessed a footfall of 1,000 to 1,500 passengers (both boarding and deboarding), and the number is expected to increase in the coming days. Barring passengers, the station is also attracting visitors who are buying platform tickets to get a glimpse of of it.
Passengers who are relying on public transport are having a tough time reaching the terminal. “Unlike other railway stations in the city, this new station is located in an interior place. Bus services are limited to the place and people have to depend on autos or taxis,” said a passenger. The BMTC runs feeder services to the terminal from Benniganahalli, Channasandra, and various points on the Outer Ring Road.
In the past, both the SWR and the BBMP have come under attack for not implementing road infrastructure projects before the opening of the terminal, instead coming up with plans after the completion of the project which was built at cost of ₹314 crore.