HC clears elevated expressway for city & Bangalore, London to share city governance

News Posted - 2010-08-20, Last Updated - 2010-08-20

Bangalore

To develop Bangalore on the lines of London, a sister-city agreement could be signed between both the metros. A discussion on this will be held with Neeraj Patil, mayor of Lambeth in London, who is in Bangalore.

Speaking at a function organized by Friends of BJP on Sunday, MP Ananth Kumar said the twin-city agreement between Bangalore and London will be an exchange programme for the former’s development. Neeraj Patil has shown interest in signing the deal.

“There are many things common between Bangalore and London. Both cities are of historical importance, but they boast of modern infrastructure development too. Problems of core and suburban Bangalore are similar to that in London. There is a mix of native and cosmopolitan culture in both the cities,” Ananth Kumar said.

Since problems and challenges in both metros are common, the best practices in each should be exchanged for better development, he pointed out.

Explaining the pact, Ananth Kumar said MoUs will be signed in five areas — heritage, public amenities, infrastructure, governance, reform and development. “The best practices in governance, reforms, development,infrastructure, transport, public amenities and perseverance in heritage will be shared. Through the Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development (ABIDe), two experts were sent to London three months ago. The first round of talks is over. Now, the BBMP and state government has to take it forward,” he added. Besides, Ananth Kumar underlined that a joint working group has to be formed to share experiences in both cities. Mayor S K Nataraj said progress on that direction has begun and MoU will be signed at the earliest. While preserving Kempegowda’s Bangalore, the ‘modern city’ has to be developed simultaneously, Ananth Kumar summed it up.

Rail connectivity from Bangalore city to airport

The Centre has agreed to provide financial assistance to the proposed high speed rail link (HSRL), connecting Bangalore city to the international airport in Devanahalli. The assistance will be in the form of viability gap funding (VGF). Used by many governments all over the world, VGF refers to grants or other kinds of financial help provided to urban or any form of public work projects.

The 33.65-km rail link will be built at an estimated cost of 6,010 crore. The Central assistance will be up to 20% of the project cost, a senior government official said. The in-principle approval was based on the submission of request for qualification (RFQ) documents submitted by the Karnataka government to the Centre. The Planning Commission along with the Union finance ministry has laid out clear cut guidelines on VGF for urban infrastructure projects, especially when it involves the private sector.

According to the study undertaken by the Karnataka government, the HSRL would deliver a investment rate of return (IRR) of 12.24% at a VGF of 20%. The link will be built under a public private partnerships (PPP) model where the state government’s contribution would be in the form of land.

HSRL has already received expression of interest from five consortiums — Pioneer Infratech Private Limited and Siemens Project Ventures; Lanco Infratech Private Limited and OHL Concesiones SL; L&T Transco Limited; Reliance Infrastructure and CSR Nanjing Rolling Stock Company Limited; and ITD-ITD Cem-Soma Enterprises Joint Ventures. Once the final approval is received, the state will go ahead with the process to select the final bidder.

A state government official said that the modalities on using the VGF would also depend on the price bids to be submitted by the five consortiums. The project is expected to be completed in 32 months and is projected to carry one-fifth of the passengers to the international airport. It will be constructed on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis, with a lease period of 30 years.

As per the initial estimates, the passenger fares for HSRL is fixed at three slabs — 200, 150 and 100. However, this is likely to change once the project is actually implemented. The state government formed the Bangalore Airport Rail Link, a special purpose vehicle under the Karnataka Investment and Development Corporation, to implement this project.

HC clears elevated expressway for city

Chennai

Green-signalling the National Highway Authority of India’s ambitious Rs 1,800-crore Ennore port-Maduravoyal elevated expressway project in the city, the Madras high court has dismissed a public interest writ petition against the proposal.

The first bench, comprising Chief Justice M Yusuf Eqbal and Justice TS Sivagnanam, concurring with the submissions of additional advocate-general P Wilson, declined to interfere with the project on Tuesday, stating that the NHAI was an expert body and had the competence to decide on technical issues like alignment.

The PIL, filed by G Loganathan of Maduravoyal, said the elevated expressway project would be of little help to the locals, and added that its original alignment had been altered due to “extraneous considerations”.

The corridor, which would run along the Cooum river from Chennai port to Koyambedu and then along Poonamallee High Road from Koyambedu to Maduravoyal, was initially estimated to cost about Rs 1,468 initially. However, due to certain changes in the alignment, an additional expenditure of Rs 345 crore was set apart.

Green Signal

Maduravoyal resident moves HC, claims project would be of little help to the local residents Claimed alignment was changed to favour a private deemed varsity. HC said NHAI was the expert body and competent to decide on the change in alignment Expressway plan altered due to pressure from university.

Approving the Ennore-Maduravoyal elevated expressway, the Madras high court dismissed a PIL against the proposal. The PIL by G Loganathan of Maduravoyal said the project’s original alignment had been altered due to “extraneous considerations.” He claimed that though the original proposal was to run the entire corridor along the Cooum, its alignment was changed due to pressure from a private deemed university. With a view to sparing the university and its assets, the authorities had changed the alignment, which would harm the interests of locals, he claimed.

Countering the submissions, additional advocate-general P Wilson argued that the elevated expressway was one of the longest, running up to 19km. He said the alignment was changed because the proposed Metro Rail project overlapped with the corridor at Koyambedu, necessitating its shifting to the middle of Poonamallee High Road. It was done based on expert opinion and it would be less costly than the Cooum bank section, he said, adding that the petitioner had filed an objection to the acquisition proceedings and it was rejected by the authorities on August 11.

The HC bench dismissed the PIL and said, “Having regard to the fact that the NHAI is the expert (body) to see as to which direction the elevated corridor should be aligned, this court cannot go into the question.”

Source: magicbricks.com 20/8/10