Bengaluru: The government’s plan to realign the Namma Metro route to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) via Hebbal was intended to provide seamless connectivity, but it now appears the new route will only inconvenience passengers travelling to the airport.
Although the route runs direct to the airport, sources say commuters will have to change trains twice, switching from either a Purple, Green or Yellow line to the Red line and then again to the Blue line to reach KIA. This also means an additional 4-5km travel in the city.
“A person trying to reach the airport from either the railway station or Majestic bus terminus will have to switch trains at MG Road to reach Nagawara and again switch at Nagawara to reach the airport,” said a senior government official.
The problem was reportedly discussed at the cabinet meeting on Thursday and objections were raised over commuters being hassled by the two changeovers. However, Ajay Seth, managing director, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), reportedly pushed for the change in alignment. He is said to have told those present at the meeting that there is “no alternative”.
The official reason the government has rendered for the realignment is that the line proposed earlier — which runs via Ramakrishna Hegde Nagar, Nagawara and Jakkur — was too close to Bangalore-Mangalore Oil pipeline.
“We had no option since rules mandate 18 meters of empty space on either side of a Metro line to provide stability to the pillars,” said deputy chief minister G Parameshwara, who is also in charge of Bengaluru development.
Another justification given for the new alignment is the fact that the original airport line, connecting Gottigere to Nagawara and from there to KIA, would have been further delayed as that particular line will go underground.
12/01/19 Sandeep Moudgal/Times of India