Bangalore High-Speed Rail Link
The Bangalore High-Speed Rail Link (HSRL) is a proposed railway line to connect the city center with Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) at Devanahalli. The rail line will run along the National Highway 7, to its left in the direction of the airport, and cover a distance of 33 km from MG Road up to the BIA. The project will cost 5,767 crore (US$1.09 billion).
The high speed rail link was mooted in 2007. In 2010, the Karnataka government issued a request for qualification, inviting companies to outline their qualifications for executing the project. Reliance Infrastructure and CSR Nanjing; L&T Transco Pvt. Ltd; Italian Thai Development Public Co. Ltd and Soma Enterprise Ltd; Pioneer Infratech Pvt. Ltd and Siemens Project Ventures GmbH; and Lanco Infratech Ltd and OHL Concessionaires SL expressed interest in the project. However, no further progress was made in the project.
Initially, it was planned to have an independent body for Bangalore High-Speed Rail Link. This plan was later dropped, and it was decided that the high speed rail project would be managed by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC).
The line was criticized for having only 4 stations. This also resulted in the project getting low political support as politicians felt only air travellers would benefit from the line. On 20 October 2011, at the inauguration of Namma Metro, Bangalore South member of Parliament and former Union minister Ananth Kumar, urged the government to scrap the project and extend Namma Metro to the airport instead. He argued that the metro link would be more beneficial to the public. M.N. Sreehari, chief executive of Consortia of Infrastructure Engineers, a consultant to the Karnataka government, suggested that the high speed rail line would be a waste of money, "The costs projected by the government would have meant that the HSRL would turn out to be more expensive than the airport itself." The project also faced problems because the proposed line would pass close to an air force training base. The government considered constructing half of the line underground until the training base but decided against it due to the huge cost escalation for an underground line.
In June 2012, Karnataka chief secretary S.V. Ranganath, asked BMRC to prepare a note on including an extension to the airport Phase II of Namma Metro.
Bangalore High-Speed Rail Link Plan
Four stations viz., Cubbon Road (City Center check-in station), Hebbal (Check-in station), Yelahanka (pick-up station) and Bangalore International Airport Terminal Station have been planned along the stretch.
The line is expected to carry air travellers at speeds up to 160kmph between the airport and MG Road with a travel time of approximately 25mins.
Posted by Jose Ubaldo on April 29, 2012 2:04 pm
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