METRO WILL KILL US. YOU CAN SAVE US.
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THE METRO WANTS OUR LAND. THEIR PLANS WILL FORCE LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, INCLUDING THE OLD, SICK AND CHILDREN OUT OF THEIR HOMES.
A NEWS 9 TV report said that the Namma Metro would DEMOLISH hundreds of homes and EVACUATE thousands of residents of Benson Town, Nandidurga Road and it would blockade Millers Road, Nandidurga Road for the next 4-5 years in order to shift the location of the metro station to Cantonment station.
What is the Background to this controversial decision?
The Expert Technical Body – Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) - had decided to locate the Cantonment Metro Station at Bamboo Bazaar instead of it being in front of the Cantonment Railway Station for several humanitarian and economic considerations, technical and engineering viability as listed below:
1. Zero/minimal displacement of residential dwellings and families and destruction of properties.
2. Avoiding irreversible environmental and atmospheric damages to be caused due to thousands of blasts, heavy machinery movement etc.
3. Avoiding mass-evacuation/ rehabilitation of thousands of families during the project execution period of 5-7 years.
4. Land/ terrain advantage in laying the metro line and construction of metro buildings and structures.
5. Shorter distance and easy integration of Cantonment Metro and the railway station.
6. Reduction in project completion time by 3-4 years.
7. Reduction in project costs to the tune of Rs. 1,000 crores even as per conservative estimates of BMRCL.
8. Future long-term savings of thousands of crores (in both human and financial resources) by this reduction in line length, relocation etc.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW?
Suddenly and most unexpectedly, it seems that some vested interests are trying to cancel this pragmatic realignment decided by BMRCL and locate it in front of Cantonment Railway Station itself on very flimsy grounds.
The table below shows the comparison between the metro station being located at Bamboo Bazaar and in front of Cantonment Station.
As per Bamboo Bazaar Alignment
1. Land: Additional Shaft not required. BBMP land for station.
2. Human displacement & Misery: NO/minimal evacuation and displacement of residences and no human misery
3. Cost: Rs. 8,200 crores (approx.)
4. Travel time between Shivajinagar and Pottery Town stations: 153 secs
5. Depth of platforms and Safety: 14.64 metres
6. Running Cost: Lower
7. Overall length of the underground stretch: 13.918 kms
8. Time for construction: 3.5 years
9. Congestion: Minimal congestion
10. Convenience: Less Inconvenience during and after the construction period
As per Cantonment Car Park Alignment
1. Land: Private land for Additional Shaft and Railway Land for Station
2. Human displacement & Misery: 10,000 people need to be displaced on a long-term basis. Lakhs of citizens affected. Demolition of residential buildings.
3. Cost: Rs. 9,300 crores (approx.)
4. Travel time between Shivajinagar and Pottery Town stations: 204 secs
5. Depth of platforms and Safety: 32.90 metres
6. Running Cost: Higher
7. Overall length of the underground stretch: 14.695 kms
8. Time for construction: 5.5 Years
9. Congestion: Additional congestion in an already crowded area
10. Convenience: Improved access for commercial establishments in Bamboo Bazaar ; Ability to construct a moving walkway between Cantonment/ Millers Road to Bamboo Bazaar
Advantages of Bamboo Bazaar Alignment over Cantonment Station car park Alignment
1. Land: No need to disturb private residences and their owners.
2. Human displacement & Misery: No need for evacuation and blockade of Millers Road, Nandidurga Road, Benson Cross Road etc.
3. Cost: Costs lower by 14%. Government saves Rs 1100 Crs
4. Travel time between Shivajinagar and Pottery Town stations: Saving of 51 secs per trip.
5. Depth of platforms and Safety: Deeper platforms lead to higher difficulty to access the platforms. This results in poorer safety standards as evacuation will be more difficult.
6. Running Cost: There will be over 360 trips per day (2 way) resulting in saving of about 300 minutes of running time.
7. Overall length of the underground stretch: Saving of 777 metres of twin tunnel i.e. 1.554 kms of tunnel length
8. Time for construction: This will save costs. Further, citizens will be able to use the service much earlier.
9. Congestion: Avoids additional congestion in a crowded area
From the above comparison it is obvious to anybody that locating the metro station at Bamboo Bazaar as decided by BMRCL is the correct decision.
What about traffic woes for lakhs of citizens using Millers Road and Nandidurga Road?
The entire Benson Town Area is a rocky area requiring thousands of underground blasts in this rocky terrain. Thousands of blasts, frequent plying of 50 Tonners, Heavy Machineries etc will cause severe damage and misery to buildings and people. Besides, it blockades most of the access roads to Benson Town, Nandidurga Road, Millers Road etc for 5 to 7 years. As citizens might be aware, Millers Road and Nandidurga Road itself connects several busy areas of Bangalore like Cox Town, Frazer Town, Ulsoor, Indiranagar, Koramangala, KIAL etc. The blockade will cause severe inconvenience to lakhs of commuters like office-goers, school kids, the sick & aged etc. Thousands of people going to offer prayers in the mosques, churches, temples; schools; nursing homes, hospitals and Old Age homes in the area would also be severely inconvenienced. All these could lead to mass upheaval which could result in indefinite delay to the project.
We want the metro, Bengaluru needs it. But to demolish homes and drive citizens out of them and block roads used by lakhs of citizens every day is too high a price to pay, whether it is Benson Town or anywhere else in the city where a huge population resides.
Is there an alternative?
Yes, there is. An empty ground in Bamboo Bazaar for locating the metro station.
Please join this campaign and sign the petition on change.org and help save thousands of families from becoming homeless.
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