BENGALURU: The move to effect a change in the alignment of the Cantonment Railway Station on the Nagavara-Gottigere Line is based on sound technical, safety and commercial reasons, said Pradeep Singh Kharola, Managing Director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited.
In the first news briefing held on the issue ever since controversy erupted after the realignment of Reach-6 was made public on July 14, Kharola said, “This crucial line will link with the Airport. The Cantonment Railway station alignment proposed in the Detailed Project Report will pass through steep curves. Trains will be forced to reduce the speed to 30 km/hour along curvatures, which will reduce the travel time by two minutes. Trains are meant to run at 100 km/hr here.”
The new alignment near the Bamboo Bazaar will be a straight one and is much shorter than the Cantonment route, he added. To redress connectivity issues, a subway running to nearly 150 metres in length and a walkalator will be provided to connect Bamboo Bazaar to the Cantonment Railway station. “With Cantonment set to be a terminal for suburban service in future, the new alignment only will help,” he reiterated.
Stating that BMRCL had learnt from its lessons in building the Underground Corridor of Phase-I, Kharola said, “We could set right the Tunnel Boring Machines in Phase-I and complete the work since the stations were located at a short distance from each other. We could send the spares below the ground from Chickpet station when work was affected.”
In the case of the 2-km underground tunnel that needs to be constructed between Shivaji Nagar and Cantonment Railway station, there will no open space above. “We will have to demolish many buildings if we need to set right any problem with any TBM. We will be forced to abandon the Line finally,” he said.
The need to cross the Railway Line is another huge issue. “As per the Railway Board directives, we need to dig at a depth of 30 metres from the lines to construct our station. Even at Majestic (Kempe Gowda) Metro station where we had two interchanges, Metro only had to dig 20 metres below the ground. We will have to go twice the distance done there,” he pointed out. When the digging is done just for 15 metres, water will start coming out, the MD added.
Airport DPR ready, submitted to government
The much awaited Detailed Project Report for the airport line from Nagavara to the BIAL airport has been completed by the in-house team of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited. “It has been handed over to me by BMRCL and I have given it to the Minister (K J George) for approval,” Additional Chief Secretary, Mahendra Jain told newspersons. Asked about the timeframe for the release of it, he said,”It needs to be okayed by the Cabinet. It will take atleast a month for it to be released.” The nearly 28-km airport line from Nagawara will go via Ramakrishna Hegde Nagar, Jakkur and Yelahanka. It has a 2020 deadline.
Road caved in when train was running above
In a surprise revelation to highlight the problems that could crop up when Tunnel Boring Machines are used to bore the ground, BMRCL MD Kharola said, “The road caved in once near the Majestic railway station with passengers on trains running above. We want to avoid such risks in Phase-II,” he added.