BENGALURU: In a major blow to citizens supporting the integration of the Cantonment Metro station with the railway station, the state government has decided to go ahead with the alternative location proposed by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL). The site is a Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)-owned playground on Bamboo Bazaar street, located away from the railway station.
Confirming this to The New Indian Express, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development Department and Managing Director of BMRCL, Mahendra Jain, said, “Technically, financially and logistically, the optimal solution was proposed by BMRCL, which has been approved by the government. The next steps are being taken accordingly.”
This brings to a temporary halt a massive campaign that managed to get the support of over 35,000 commuters from around the city. The decision will mean that the new Metro station will be located around 800m away from Cantonment Railway Station, which sees footfall of over 40,000 commuters every day.
BMRCL had said it will build infrastructure like ‘travellators’ (walking horizontal escalators) to connect both the stations so that those looking to switch over would not be inconvenienced, and this solution is most likely to be deployed.
The location of the station at Bamboo Bazaar street will result in the demolition of a BBMP office and some encroachments, according to sources, but no private properties would be acquired. The decision by the government came after BMRCL was asked to do a study of both the locations (old and new) and submit it to the government. It was then that officials mentioned for the first time that a few buildings including a posh apartment block would have to be demolished if the old alignment was chosen as a mid-shaft for the tunnel.
This led to a counter group of residents who stood to lose their houses, beginning a campaign to pressure the government to select the playground as the final location. While supporters of the old location and integration tried to reach out to the other group, there was no progress. Commuters are most likely to protest the decision in the coming days. The station is located on Reach 6 of Phase II between Gottigere and Nagavara.