The meeting between Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy and the BMRCL on Saturday gains significance following the recent controversies surrounding Phase 2 of the Namma Metro project.
Even before the Union government gives the required green signal for Phase 2 of Bangalore Metro rail project, it has attracted brickbats from all corners. There is criticism of changes in alignment and the general lack of information sharing about implementation of the Phase 2, which will take Metro’s total network to 72 km.
The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Phase 2 prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation was approved by the State government in January 2012. Around 61 stations will be added to the network and the tentative completion date is 2017. “While the Jayadeva Hospital realignment will be brought up, there may not be a change in the decision as it was made by a High Powered Committee,” Reddy said.
“We are not included in the meeting. It is between the minister and the BMRCL. But we hope to at least get an understanding of where we stand after the meeting,” said K Ramesh, Coordinator of the Jayadeva Interchange Metro Victims Forum.We will then decide how to take the fight forward,” he said.
Residents protested the issue stating that the change was sudden and implemented without their consultation. They have decided to approach the Centre at the Public Investment Board Meeting on June 25 and also via courts, if Saturday’s meeting is unfruitful.
Still, Nanjundaswamy, founder of Ranga Chetana, a pro-Jayadeva group, said: “Jayadeva Hospital has already given land for road construction and a Masjid. Metro should be kept away from the hospital,” he said.
Ex-Minister Had His Way
Once the metro alignment for Phase 2 was put up on the website, BMRCL replied unfavourably to four requests for adding a station at the busy Hoody township near Whitefield. The reply to each petition was the same.
However, when MLA and minister in the previous BJP government Aravind Limbavali wrote to BMRCL demanding this station, the latter accepted that it would be profitable.
He also recommended deletion of stations citing that many properties would have to be accquired. In his reply, Sivasailam stated that the committee had agreed to delete Narayanpura station to prevent accquisition and also to shift Garudacharpalya station by 80 metres towards Whitefield.