Companies and associations in Whitefield and K R Puram are threatening to move to Malur unless the government gives in to their demand to construct the 22-km Byappanahalli-ITPL stretch of the Metro line underground.
The companies and associations contend that construction of an elevated Metro in the region will result in huge traffic congestion and employees would spend too much time commuting on the road to and from their workplaces.
B G Kodandaram of Whitefield Area Commerce and Industries Association (WACIA) told Express: “As it is, we spend at least two hours on the road for a 2-km stretch during peak hours. With the Metro construction, the road width will be reduced further. Our employees may have to spend over five hours just travelling to and from work. This will obviously affect our productivity.”
Further, Kodandaram said, “If the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited adamantly decides to construct an elevated stretch, many companies will not be left with any option, but to move to other places like Malur.”
Whitefield Exports Promotion Parks and Industries Association (WEPPIA) president E S Chakravarthy pointed to the air and noise pollution that will be the result of an elevated Metro.
After the recent Jayadeva controversy, industry associations in Whitefield and K R Puram have written to CM Siddaramaiah, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy and IT&BT Minister S R Patil requesting that an underground Metro be considered seriously.
B G Kodandaram of Whitefield Area Commerce and Industries Association, in his letter, said: “Three roads join near Tin Factory - the Old Madras Road, Outer Ring Road and Whitefield Road. There are container depots, the Devanagudi Oil company, gas filling stations and cement godowns here. There are several 40-foot containers operating, apart from numerous cars, buses, autos and two-wheelers, in the face of which even the traffic police are often helpless.” The BMRCL has repeatedly said going underground was not feasible because of the cost. The 22-km Byappanahalli-ITPL stretch is estimated to cost `4,845 crore, which could go up to nearly `20,000 crore if it goes underground.
BMRCL has also pointed out that the underground Metro will require more land acquisition as up and down ramps are to be located along with station boxes.
K R Mahadevaswamy, chief engineer, Phase II, has said that for Phase II there is a proposal to widen the road in such a way that adequate lanes will be available during construction. At Tin Factory, where Jyothipura Metro station will be constructed, the CE has said that an elevated station will occupy lesser space than an underground station. Ramalinga Reddy confirmed that he had received a representation from the associations. “I will go through the letters and consider their demands,” he said. Association members said they had no option, but threaten to move. A member said: It is quite likely that like Phase I, Phase II will also be burdened with litigation and delays. Why should companies suffer through this and lose revenue during this period?”