BENGALURU (Metro Rail News): Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa declared in his budget speech that the Outer Ring Road-West Metro and Magadi Road-Metrolite corridor will be developed by a public-private partnership (PPP). The Outer Ring Road Metro project would connect Hebbal and JP Nagar it will help to ease traffic congestion on Outer Ring Road (ORR).
The public-private model has been proposed the first time for a Metro rail project in the city. Till now, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd has handled the works through connecting contractors. Following the proposed model an eligible private company can develop and run Metro systems.
The Delhi airport Metro line and segments of Hyderabad–Mumbai Metro were built following this model. “The preparation of the DPR for ORR-West Metro and Magadi Road Metrolite will be taken up; it is proposed to be implemented by a public-private partnership,” Yediyurappa stated during unveiling his budget proposals.
As per BMRCL officials, the project report for the 30-kilometre ORR-West line and 14 kilometre Magadi Road Metrolite would be drawn up in some months. Metro rail projects are usually funded by central and state govt. with loans from financial institutions. “Whether private firms will entirely build, operate and maintain Metro systems would be decided based on a project’s financial viability and ridership estimation,” said a BMRCL official.
Just like a monorail, the Metrolite is a transit system with smaller coaches. It is more affordable than the regular Metro. “The construction work of the 56km long line from Central Silk Board to Kempegowda International Airport through KR Puram and Hebbal at an expected cost of Rs 14,500 cr will begin in 2020-21,” stated Yediyurappa.
The CM added that Mysuru Road-Kengeri and Yelechenahalli-Anjanapura township corridors will be commissioned this year. Road cross-over conveniences for non-Metro passengers would be presented at 24 metro stations.
In the budget, there was an important focus on public transport.“Public transport systems require to be strengthened and extended in terms of reducing traffic density in Bengaluru,” said Yediyurappa. He declared that Rs 500 cr will be earmarked for the long-pending Bengaluru suburban rail project in 2020-21.
However, the project is awaited to cost Rs 18,000 cr, is still waiting to be confirmed by the central cabinet committee on economic affairs. “This project will be a major step in the way of developing a public transport system in Bengaluru,” he added.
The state govt has also chosen to shoulder 50% of the project expense for the doubling of Byappanahalli-Hosur and Yeshwantpur-Channasandra rail tracks. It had insisted first on 20:20 model with the railways, stating the left 60% of the funding requirement should be filled by loans.
The govt will provide Rs 100 cr per year for a 7-year period in the terms of loan subsidy to bus operator BMTC so that it can purchase 1,500 diesel buses at a cost of Rs 600 cr. In addition to this, a reward of Rs 100 cr has been allowed for the addition of 500 ordinary electric buses for BMTC’s fleet.
To reduce the traffic congestion there are also various steps will also be taken in Hebbal, Silk Board and KR Puram junctions. “Infrastructure facilities, transit-based development and essential regulatory measures will ensure that the utilisation of public transport increases from 48%-73%,” he replied.