It is Metro time, and papers are full of statements from babus and netas of our city that say that "we didn't go underground because the cost was very high". But then, some citizens say - what about the cost we pay due to inconvenience? Wouldn't that 'hidden cost' tilt the balance in favour of underground? How about putting some numbers to these arguments?
Think of Chord Road, or Kanakapura road. How many people take these roads in the mornings or evenings? Let us assume 25000, morning and evening. They spend extra time due to deviations, or due to slow commute on the under-construction stretch. How much extra time do the commuters have to spend due to the construction? Lets say only 10 minutes, for assumption sake. 10 mins in the morning, 10 in the evening.
So now, 25000 x (10+10) = 500000 minutes. That is 8333 hours.
How much cost would you put to this "time". Mere Rs 30 per hour gives you Rs 2.5 Lakhs / day,
- So, Rs 2.5 Lakhs / day / stretch of impaired road
- For two full years? 2.5 lakhs x 260 working days x 2 = 13 crores.
- Assume 10 such impaired stretches across full phase 1, you get 130 crores.
Assuming going underground would have cost 100% more (a conservative estimate), the extra cost would have been 11000 crores.
11000 crores vs 130 crores. There you have, the numbers.
However, there are many angles around this debate:
- How do you know that UG would be 100% more? Didn't we start with 7000 crore figure, and costs have crept up? We may anyway have reached closer to the UG costs by now.
- There would be other 'hidden' costs to going 'elevated': litigations, and delays due to litigations (CMH Road, Nanda Threater Road).
- Other cost angle woudl be - money that will "NOT" be spent in acquiring land.
- IIM-B to Nagwara line (planned) has a big UG stretches. So perhaps, a lesson is already being implemented there.