Expressway to BIA grounded

DH News Service, Bangalore:

The State government, citing a study report of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), has told the High Court that the proposed super expressway connecting the Outer Ring Road and Bangalore International Airport (BIA) is not feasible.

Advocate-General Udaya Holla, in his submission on the airport connectivity, informed the court that the NHAI, which conducted a techno-economic study on the project, had concluded that it was not a feasible project. Instead, a high speed railway link will come up.

The advocate-general said the 22-km expressway had also run into rough weather following problems related to land acquisition.

“The land price is more here, with each acre costing Rs five crore to Rs six crore and there are some residential layouts too over there,” he said.

A division bench comprising Justice Ram Mohan Reddy and Justice Jawad Rahim, which heard the matter, came down heavily on the Central government, stating that it should have thought of the problems when the airport project was initiated.

“It is a chaotic response from the Central government. Why did the Union government not think of this?” the court questioned.

“The cost is not an exception. It is the people’s money. Bring down the risk. They should be benefited,” said the court. Despite the negative report, however, the NHAI was requested by the State government to reconsider the expressway project. The high speed railway link will be coming up as an alternative. The government counsel said that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had been appointed as a consultant for the railway project.

“Public notice will be issued soon inviting expression of interests from the parties,” said the State government counsel.

The State also informed the court that the improvement work was under way on 46 connecting roads to the new airport, and would be finished by Dec 2008.

The government counsel also said two signals — at the CBI junction and at Sanjaynagar junction — would be shifted. The matter was adjourned to June 30.

Source : The Deccan Herald

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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