The Karnataka cabinet, on January 10, 2019, approved the proposal to change the alignment of the metro rail from KR Puram to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), which will increase its length by another eight kilometres. The cabinet also gave its nod to a feasibility study on the Rs 23,093-crore suburban rail project in the city.
Briefing reporters, cooperation minister Baneppa Kashempur said that these were the government’s ‘new year gift’ to Bengaluru. The new alignment for the metro rail, would begin from KR Puram, via Hebbal Nagawara and then to the KIA. As per the previous plan, the metro rail route was an extension of the Gottigere-Nagawara stretch, also known as Reach 6 of Phase II. The route was supposed to pass through RK Hegde Nagar after Nagawara, without touching Hebbal junction.
The change in alignment, would increase the length of the metro rail from KR Puram to KIA, from 29.8 kms to 38 kms. Accordingly, the overall cost will go up from Rs 5,950 crores to Rs 10,584 crores, the minister said. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation managing director Ajay Seth said the train will run through Nagawara, Hebbal, Jakkur and an additional station of Kodigehalli. Nagawara will be an intersection. There will also be a non-stop service from Central Silk Board Junction to the airport.
The cabinet also approved land acquisition for the project and getting all the clearances from the central government. A revised financial plan for Metro Phase 2A, from Central Silk Board to KR Puram, was also cleared. An additional metro station at Challaghatta was also approved. It will be built at a cost of Rs 140 crores, the minister said.
On the suburban railway corridor, the cabinet gave its nod to the feasibility report that will cover six corridors – KSR Bengaluru to Devanahalli, Vasantha Narasapura-Tumakuru-Byappanahalli, Ramanagara to Jnanabharathi, Whitefield to Bangarpet, Hosur to Doddaballapur and Kengeri to Whitefield. “The cost of the project at this stage is Rs 23,093 crores, of which 20 per cent will be borne by the state and the centre, while the balance will be raised through debts,” Kashempur said.