BMRCL to minimise land acquisition for phase 2

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Bangalore, October 6:  Those who feared that their property would be acquired for the second phase of Namma Metro Phase 2 can now be hopeful, as the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., (BMRCL) has decided to minimise land acquisition for the project.

This decision is one among the several to cut down project cost, which was estimated at Rs. 26,405 crore at the 2011 rates.

The corporation had estimated that about 2,000 properties spread over about 200 hectares of land would be required for the 72 km Phase 2 for construction of four extension lines of the East-West and North-South corridors of Phase 1 and two new lines. Acquisition would be restricted for land required for viaduct and stations alone.

Only two levels

Another important decision taken to bring down the land requirement and project cost was constructing two levels of elevated stations instead of the three-level stations constructed on Phase 1. Ground floors of elevated stations on Phase 1 have passenger amenities and some commercial space, first floors are used for passenger concourse and the second floors have train platforms.

Though the station would be on a lower elevation to tracks with this decision, the metro trains are powerful enough to move with ease from the station to the elevated track, said a senior BMRCL official. A train comprises two motor-driver coaches at both the ends and one trailer coach in the middle. The driver-motor coach is powered by four 220 kVA motors, equivalent to 1,000 horse power, he said.

With the conservative five per cent increase in the project cost every year, the cost of Phase 2 is likely to cross Rs. 30,000 crore when project implementation begins in a few months.

Cost escalation

The central government, a partner in Namma Metro, would bear the cost escalation only if it is due to increase in central duties and cess. Cost escalation for any other reason including delay, would have to be borne by the State government and hence this decision by BMRCL.

Exact estimation to be made

With this, the land requirement now would now be lesser than the estimated 200 hectares, said the official, though the exact estimation is yet to be made.

BMRCL has already appointed M/s Jones Lang Lassalle as the consultant to assist the Land Committee headed by retired IAS officer C. Krishnappa to determine the market value of the properties.

The official said the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB), which is acquiring land for Namma Metro, has issued three preliminary notifications: for 24 hectares of private and three hectares of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) land for the Mysore Road Terminal-Kengeri line, for 7.8 hectares of private land between Byappanahali and Mahadevapura on the Byappanahalli-Whitefield sector and for 1 hectare of land for construction of Ragigudda and Central Silk Board Stations on the R.V. Road Terminal-Bommasandra line.

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