BENGALURU: Residents of Challaghatta in West Bengaluru are lucky to get onto the Metro connectivity bandwagon after it was belatedly incorporated as the last stop on the Phase 2 Extension line to be launched on Sunday. It was never meant to be a part of the Mysuru Road-Kengeri Line but land issues near the Kengeri Satellite Bus Stand for a Metro depot turned out to be an advantage for residents here.
A good chunk of Bangalore Development Authority’s (BDA) Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout is in the vicinity of the Challaghatta Metro station, which is 1.5 km away from the present terminus of Kengeri Metro station. The station is expected to be added to the Kengeri Line by March 2022. The depot though will take much longer to build.
A senior Metro official told The New Indian Express, “When the Detailed Project Report (DPR) was readied by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) in September 2011, the depot was to be located on 20 acres of land near the Kengeri Satellite bus stand. However, we got to know much later while assessing the area that the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board had acquired the land to install a Sewage Treatment Plant.”
Metro officials had to get back to the drawing board and work out alternative locations for the depot. “We got to know that nearly 40 acres of land was available near Challaghatta which was a little distance away. Hence, we decided to acquire it for the depot. So, in the revised DPR readied in mid-2014, a new station and depot were decided upon,” the official said.
The biggest portion of land here, 18 acres and 8 guntas, had to be acquired from the BDA, creating much friction between the departments over the compensation aspect. It was finally resolved in October 2019 with BDA agreeing for a reduced compensation.
Chief Engineer, Depots (Phase-2), BMRCL B L Yeshwanth Chavan said, “Tenders have been called and work is on to complete the Challaghatta station first. It will be ready by March 2022 and operations can begin there after that.” The depot has gone elevated as it is set to become a multi-modal one and involves the National Highways Authority of India, BDA and other agencies.
The Water Board's STP has come up over the years at the originally planned depot location and is operational.