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Fast rail track MG Road to BIAL - confused

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Metro RailPublic Transport

I am honestly a little confused on this infrastructure project that has been "reannaounced" by the government.

From what I have read on this( news releases), what I gather is that:

  • There is a dedicated fast track railway being proposed from MG road to BIAL exclucively servcing airport needs .
  • That this project, PPP or not, is to the tune of 3000crores
  • That the ticket will be in the region of Rs200 per pop.

My confusion/doubts:

  • can a investment/infrastructure like this ever be fully utlised by a airport traffic requirement ie with so many options available, especially the simple cab option will people ever use it.
  • Is this a stand alone corridor..and is it a mono rail or a fast track.

And fundamantally.. for this kind of investments is it not better:

  1. To intergrate it to Namma Metro?
  2. Have the trinity circle metro station as the alight point for BIAL?
  3. Let the track to BIAL essentially be a Metro covering north bangalore and not just BIAL?
  4. On That track have a couple /or 3 or 4 "bogeys" at the Rs 200 per pop rate.with whatever service levels you want for the airport traveller?
  5. Stations are all along that track and ending at BIAL.

Cannot see a benefit or even a commercially viable plan servicing only BIAL at that infrastructure cost. And even if the argument is that it is coming out of PPP and therefore not government funds, there is still the questiion of land alignment lost forever for mass transport , if it is an excleucive airport traffic project.

As i said the beginning, not sure I got my fact rights. Someone know somtheing more on this?

Comments

s_yajaman's picture

Airport express - white elephant

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Vijayan,

You have all the facts right. We have had a few blogs and comments on Praja on this and most will agree with your suggestions. This project I am sure has its genesis in all that noise about connectivity from your friends down south :). We cannot be investing Rs.4000 crores on a link that will serve just 50000-100000 per day.

This will be the biggest white elephant (and before that elephant is born the most chaotic gestation period) ever conceived, if in the present form. (My benchmark for good planning is Singapore and it does not have a dedicated train to the airport. It is an extension of the MRT there).

Let us assume that BIAL does reach a 30 million passenger/year (in and out) in about 8 years time (by which time this fast tracked project might actually get done!). That is about 100,000 passengers/day in and out. 50000 each way. let us say 60% take this train - 30000. Add 1 companion - 60000 one way.

This train is supposed to run every 10 mins (need to confirm). 144 trains each way. That means a train on an average will have about 350 people. So about Rs.70,000 REVENUE/train. In a good year - Rs.600 crores. A net margin of 5% - means Rs.30 crores as profit. Max 45 crores PAT. Not good enough on an investment of Rs.4000 crores. At 10 million each train will have 100 people on an average

In these projects, the elevated tracks take up a lot of the investment. They need to be utilized by rakes that can take 1000 people at a time and not 300.

All this assumes that BIAL will hit the 30 million mark sometime. They need to relook this projected number in the context of $130 crude and its impact on the airline industry.

Srivathsa

 

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narayan82's picture

The White Elephant COntd

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Srivatsa,

 As per your calculations it would take more then 14 years to get back the money spent, considering Air Passenger Nos continue rising, no other airport in Bangalore functions and regional airports too don't come up in a hurry. Some ideas to make this project more profitable:

  • Include Cargo
    Let there be a Cargo Terminal in the city, and the train can carry to good vans enabling quicki transfer of Cargo to the city. This will help therevenue. Ideas such as pre-loading customs etc.. can be created.
  • Connect it to Network Rail
    As they have done in CDG and Brussels (Nord/Midi) ahigh speed rail connects Brussels to CDG enabling the flight+train option. The Thalys takes you to CDG in just under 3 hours and you checkin for the entire journey at Brussels Itself.  This could work well in our context of Tier II cities. E.g. Mysore, Hassan, Hosur, Tumkur...etc. This can be done by locating the BIAL HSR at Cantonement or Byappanahalli.
  • Phased Development
    If BIAL connectivity is why the HSR is on fast track and then use it to its advantage. let Phase I be M G Road to BIAL, while in Phase 2 more stations are built along the way. Diversions can be made on the same track to serve Sanjay nagar,R T Nagar. A train every half hour can be non stop to BIAL (Via Hebbal/Ylahanka) while the others could take the detours.
This way we can make optimum use of the project. 
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Devesh's picture

Connectivity will cost 3x the cost of airport

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When we are all done, the cost of connectivity to the airport will be in excess of Rs. 7000. Which translates to almost 3x the cost of the airport Rs 2500.

-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

 

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
blrsri's picture

Misplaced priorities!

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As we have been discussing, we dont need the airport express. Why is the govt turing a blind eye to other options. A good solution world over might not be a good one for India.. we are different  and with specific needs..this is made more than evident with, byfar the biggest PPP in Karnataka, the BIA!

Sreedharan goes on record saying that the initial proposal for a 150 Rs sounded low '.. we think there is scope to increase it to Rs 250. Even then, it wouldn’t be as expensive as taxis '
What are we trying to do here? Fixing train tickets based on what taxi rates are?

Its easily seen that this is an effort to 'sell' ourselves to the Private guys in the PPP..concessionaries did I hear?
Is the govt so incapable to do anything on its own?

s_yajaman's picture

Project economics and other things?

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The whole project economics is a mystery (maybe Devesh has a better idea).

a. What are the projected number of passengers for BIAL - low, medium and high? What are the assumptions behind these numbers.  Merely projecting past growth rates is not good enough.  There will be both macro-economic factors as well as industry specific factors.  Will we really see numbers like 50 million given that he airline industry world over and in India is living on borrowed time (IMO) and all the rosy growth stories seem to have cooled off. 

b. What are the project costs?  What escalations have been built into this?  Steel prices have shot up in the last 6 months by 50%!  Rolling stock and construction costs will escalate over the years.  What is the break even number of passengers for this?

c. What % of passengers will use this train given that it starts from MG Road.  What is the research behind this?  Has any survey been done? (If I working in E-City or ITPL - what would compel me to stop at MG Road and take the train given that I have endured most of the pain reaching here). 

d. How will MG Road manage the extra traffic due to this?

e. How will this interact with other projects?

 

As much I respect Mr. Sreedharan for executing the Delhi Metro as well as he did it, on this one I have to differ with him.  This seems to be a classic case of a problem being fit to the solution at hand rather than the other way round.  Executing a losing project efficiently does not make it a winning project. 

 

 

 

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bangalore-guy's picture

waste of money and resources.

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It would be such a waste if the govt goes ahead and completes the exclusive rail link to bial. I have been making this plea that the exclusive rail link be dropped and either a metro/mono non-exlcusive link be setup to bial so that not only the people going to airport but in general people travelling to that area (hebbal, yelhanka.. devanahalli) all can benifit and not only the few air travellers who may not even want to take the train.

I had posted this sometime back.

 

http://clean-and-green.bl...

silkboard's picture

PPP or not, please solve the bigger problem first

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A lot of 'statements' about the project establish 1) airport exclusivity of the rail link, and 2) that this will not be networked with Metro.

My fundamental questions, sort of similar to Mr Menon's above

  • Why would you limit your target customer set? 4000 air travelers per day (at Rs 200 each) vs (40000 per day at Rs 80-100 or so each)
  • How would people reach MG Road? What makes anyone think that this train shouldn't start from silk board junction or Sirsi circle or Sarjapura ORR junction?
  • Why would NHAI's NH7 elevated expressway not eat into the revenues of this project?
  • The threat of HAL always looming large, why would a potential investor not worry about loss of traffic (upto 40%) to this airport (which will re-open sooner or later)
  • If this project can be sold off as PPP, why not Metro itself - is it because Metro involves land acquisition, and the government thinks it does a better job of acquiring land?
  • For airport exclusivity part - why does anyone think that air travelers need better "amenities" than that of Namma Metro? Are Metro amenity standards not good enough? Or is BMRC not confident about controlling crowd levels on Metro coaches (via investing in higher frequencies of trains)

Most of above becomes redundant if this is designed to be an extension of Metro itself. Why not think PPP extension of Namma Metro? Let Govt do Phase 1/2/3, and let interested parties propose and build PP extensions for it anywhere they like and they can?

NH7 has space for dedicated bus lanes, or can be made into an expressway today. I dont think many have complained about the speed beyond Hebbal (besides those speed breakers). What Bangalore wants is a way to get from anywhere in the city to Hebbal at an avg speed of 35-40 kmph. Rs 3000 Crore spent towards that will solve Bangalore's connectivity problems, air traveler, or regular commuter. Please don't divert your good energy and enthusiasm into relatively lower priority problems.

navshot's picture

Dedicated BIA rail link

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I think MG road to BIA link is okey, provided there is good coverage of metro across Bangalore. Remember, metro passes a stone's throw away from the starting point of proposed express rail link. Even then, I'd prefer a metro link from MG road via hebbal/NH7 which caters to general public too. I don't know the cost difference - if it should cater to general public, then there has to be metro stations at regular intervals, which costs more. Despite the cost, I think we should plan for the future and avoid letting NH7 become another Hosur road.
-- navshot
blrsri's picture

why no PPP

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Sreedharan mentioned the following about PPP

 “PPP won’t be a success with Bangalore Metro. The project iss highly capital intensive and the returns are too little. It is a social project, not a business venture. Private parties will not be interested. The government alone has to do it. It’s well that the Centre and states are co-operating on such projects.”

This explains why they want exclusive route and dedicated train with PPP..everything in place to lure the private guys..so that the govt need not worry about the money or the project! It remains to be seen which private consortium would be interested in such a venture as the investments are high and returns are low!

Instead BSY govt should take this on and get a metro in place instead of the exclusive train..I was checking the klia express train passenger growth..its been about 20% year on year..and is still in few thousands..

I am sure its a risky proposition for exclusive train..instead get a metro on standard gauge and make a mark!

kbsyed61's picture

Politicians and political growth

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Guys,

The anouncements are just soothing lullabies for the citizens to go to sleep. There is still time for SUNRISE.

"Either there is a zero growth or negative growth in political arena in India"

Everybody is growing or atleast making efforts in growing to meet the growth challenges except the politicians. Politicians doesn't seems want to to grow out of their political mantras of yester years. They would like to continue in the current status quo mode. Because change requires efforts, sacrifices and hardwork. These attributes actually makes a person "UNQUALIFIED" for the political class in India. There could be few exceptions, but those souls are very few and you have heard their name callings everyday in news media. Weakest PM, weakest politician etc.

Coming back to our topic, as others have pointed out, exclusive rail link doesn't make any sense where the urgent need of the day is decongesting in CBD areas. As BIAL experiences have said time and again, it is the inner city travel that is causing delays not the Habbal-airport stretch. Even in current situation, Vayu-Vajra is doing its job execellently. VV's occupancy rate is growing. I am yet to see a post recently which cribs about connectivity. All the cribbing is about BIAL's capacity and operations. All that need to happen is add more VVs to provide access to more destinations and locations.

I doubt IT hanchos and likes of RKs, Pai's and Shaws would ever take public transport? Also look at the location for its start point -BRV theater. Its distance from other parts of city is already half of the total travel to BIAL. There are no tangible benefits to public. May be politicians sees a goldmine in it.

We have heard voices that advocates people participation in projects in BIAL and rightly people's participation is a must in any project - private or public.

Can we hope to hear voices from Industry and their captains about poeple's participation in GOK's plans?

blrsri's picture

BRV grounds is fine

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I believe BRV should just be fine..anyways they are planning a pedestrain concouse connecting the metro phI with the airport metro..also having at BRV allows eventual connectivity to people from other parts of bangalore by namma metro!

Dreaming of a day when there is a match at chinnaswamy and fans from hebbal take the train to watch the match..instead of worrying about driving and parking..probably even a news paper report of a scuffle btwn fans and airport travellers!

narayan82's picture

Let it be built!

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I feel that the HSR should be built. With Airport city in place and maybe the SEZs coming soon there will be the demand for the travel to the region. More importantly, I see the pressure on Airport Connectivity as a Catalyst to the project - something not always found in Govt implemented projects. Making optimum use of this, can maybe get it built ahead of schedule! Now the key isn't in re-designing it but keeping it modular or volatile. Addition sub routes can be built on request, more stations can be added and it should be expandable on either side. For Example, there could be a diversion in Phase II to link up the HSR from Sanjay nagar to Yeshwantpur, Or link Hebbal to Byappanahalli (Through ORR). This will create more networks within the city. Look at HSR to BIAL as Phase I of a larger project.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Devesh's picture

BIAL Air Traffic projections

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Let us not get alarmed by a blip. It is a globally accepted rule that aviation traffic grows at 2X the rate of GDP growth. Bangalore will continue to see 5%~10% GDP growth for the next 10 years.

If we estimate a very conservative average 10% Y-o-Y growth starting from a base of 10 million, we are adding about 1 million passengers a year from now, and accelerating. 15 million by 2013/14. 20 Million by 2016. 30 million by 2019/20. After that I am not sure, BIAL can handle. I am very doubtful they will ever reach 50 million. They simply will not have the infrastructure, and they are relying very heavily on airport SEZ, and other real estate revenue.

This brings up one more point. Ridership from these other non-aero ventures. But then will people be willing to pay Rs. 10,000 per month just for conveyance ?
-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

 

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Devesh's picture

Commuting via airport link

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Will daily commuters be willing to spend Rs. 500 per day commuting up and down ? That translates to over Rs. 10,000 per month. Companies will find it cheaper to rent Sumos.

If we reduce the price, how does this affect the product ? 

The Singapore option of extending the metro to the airport is a very good solution, but then everything becomes dependant on the metro time table, and we all know how erratic that is.

These are tough choices.

-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

 

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Devesh's picture

NH-7 is not a long term option

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 Guys, NH-7 is not a long term option. It will become just another NH-4. As industry begins to move towards the airport, the road will become choked. There has to be a long term solution.

Rail is the best solution, but costs will kill. Elevated road, possible, but looking at BETL, I shudder at the disruption.

What are other options ?

-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

 

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
narayan82's picture

Commuters Charges

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I am sure we can have passes or similar schemes where travel is cheaper for those who are employed there. While one off travelers using the airport pay regular fare. A seperate "low cost" coach (without A/C and headrests/Wifi/music) can be kept for pass holders. This is where a govts. stake holding in a project is useful. A private player will try and optimize profits unwilling to "serve" people. Also with the increase in fuel prices the cost of road transport is going to increase. As i mentioned earlier, this CANNOT be a rail only for the airport to MG road - it is ok to have it has PHASE I but eventually it should be integrated into the entire metro system. This means tickets can be purchased for an entire journey for Bus+Metro+BIAL train.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
s_yajaman's picture

Other options?

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Devesh,

The current rail option - high speed, elevated completely could be the reason for high costs.  Is this the only option?  Has a 50% surface stretch been considered (with fencing?).  Even HK's AE is not elevated - not for its entire run.

NICE Road can be extended to NH7 from the West giving quick access to E-City, part of South Bangalore and West Bangalore.  This can take load of NH7 upto Yelahanka.

I personally don't see a 10% growth in the airline industry - and certainly not on a base of 10million.  That 10 million will go down before growth starts.  Discretionary travel will go down with rising air fares and a soft economy.  Businesses will look hard and remove non-essential travel.  24 airlines have gone bust in the USA in the last 6 months.  My bet is that the airline industry will look very different in 5 years time.  No industry can bleed forever. 

That 2X thumb rule has not been around forever.  Transportation and warehousing grow in line with GDP (I have seen solid historical data on this).

IMHO Crude oil prices will go down only after some serious structural damage is done to oil intensive industries reducing the need for oil.  The airline industry will be  one of the first ones to see some serious structural changes.

Time will tell which of us is right.  I hope you are, but I am afraid that I will be :).  I think a rail link is on - but not a fancy white elephant. 

Srivathsa

 

 

 

 

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blrsri's picture

Airport/Dodjala commuter rail

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How about starting a 'Garibh Rath' commuter rail from Byappanahalli to Dodajala?

BSY can confer an award to Lalu Prasad Yadav and request him for commissioning work on this rail..

Before the concessionaries can kick in for airport express where they set rules like 'no express way or train within 100 mile radius' rule!

Vasanth's picture

Build 4 tracks with 2 tracks for Metro and 2 for Airport Link

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The localities near Intl Airport is severely getting congested and their travel times are getting increased. While planning for Airport Link, they should plan with 4 tracks with 2 for Namma Metro upto Yelahanka and 2 for Airport Link.

While acquiring land, they have to acquire little more than for just 2 lanes. Stations will serve dual purpose. This is one time investment.

idontspam's picture

Why elevated?

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Precisely my point too. Why does the train have to be elevated all the way? Why are we not using the current rail infrastructure or use current railway land and run parellel tracks for high speed rail? Why does the rail have to service only airport and not locations in between? Why does the expressway have to be only from ring road to airport?

 If we are spending so much money might as well have north-south & east-west expressways 8 lanes wide. We have to let go of the fascination to keep putting ring roads around Bangalore.

narayan82's picture

Elevated better than on ground

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There is a lot of space on the roads for an elevated road and an elevated railway. There are 2 service roads too. So the railway can be upon the service road, hence construction will not affect majority of the traffic.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
ashwin's picture

The elephant may be black after all...

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The financial analysis by Srivathsa (s_yajaman) is impressively detailed but I believe his assumption of a PAT of 5% could be significantly on the low side. As a comparison, the Delhi Metro made a small operational loss last year (ignoring real-estate related income). This is for the regular routes where fares are in the Rs 7 to 14 range. Assuming a similar operational cost structure, but with ticket fares multiplied 10 folds, you could easily have a margin of 50% (profit after depreciation, but before interest).

Which would give a figure of 300 crore on a 4,000 crore investment or a 7.5% return on capital (I have kept all the other assumptions constant). The return on equity could be higher depending on the amount & rate of debt - for eg 2/3rds debt financing at 5% would boost ROE to 12.5%. JBIC and other development institutions are known to give even lower interest rates for infrastructure projects. So the project is not unviable.

However, I share some of the other concerns raised in this forum. A few months back, I wrote about some of these issues and threw up alternate possibilities here - http://trinitycircle.blogspot.com/2007/10/international-airport-rail-link.html

Ashwin

 

Bengloorappa's picture

Hybrid Solution Using BRT and Metro

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How about a Hybrid solution that uses BRT in the initial stages and gives us time to integrate Phase 1 and parts of Phase-2 Metro infrastructure with the Airport rail link ?

Instead of using the same coaches as Metro, special coaches and special schedule will help to alleviate problems that could potentially occur by using the Metro schedule and coaches. However, no one is being stopped from using the Airport link as a fast alternative to areas like Yelahanka from say, Byappanahalli, so it is a broad-based solution from that front.

1. BRT as Phase 1 of Airport link - Run BRT based Volvo buses from all corners of the city to provide efficient and fast access to BIAL. Let the idea sink-in that an Airport link doesnt necessarily mean fast rail access and it will help the planners and implementers buy time, maybe till 2011.

2. "Metro Airport express" as part of Metro Phase 2 - Work with Namma Metro to create a semi-dedicated route to the Airport by building parts of Phase-2 infrastructure ahead of schedule, so that the rail link to the Airport is not exclusive to the Airport and Metro Phase-2 will use parts of the Airport link when ready.


In the picture above, the route from Cantt. to Yelahanka can be re-used by Namma Metro as part of Phase-2 EC to Yelehanka alignment.

Run 2 or more Airport coaches coaches at any given time from Byappanahalli, Mysore Road Terminal, R.V. Road Terminal and Yeshwantpur, all converging at BRV Grounds. Then at BRV Grounds they all join to form a single Metro Airport express and run on the Airport link corridor to BIAL via Yelahanka.

This avoids cost of redundant infrastructure and also adds convenience of connectivity from any part of the city.

s_yajaman's picture

Meanwhile the current road turns a death trap

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narayan82's picture

Speed Governers

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Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Vasanth's picture

Don't want my tax paid money to be invested in what i don't use

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I am a very occassional plane traveller. I do not like Government using my tax paid amount and others who do not travel regularly on flight. 3,500 + crores is a huge amount. With this amount 3,500+ volvos can be purchased.

If a Volvo is directly running from near my house to BIAL, why would I come all the way to BRV ground to take the train. This thought will come to everybody's mind. Such a huge investment may or may not be used. Shanghai Maglev even though so fast as high as 400+ kmph used for Airport Link is running under loss.

Such a huge investment should benefit every Bangalorean in the form of Normal Metro/Mono.  

idontspam's picture

Highway best practices

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Vasanth's picture

I have been always telling Skywalks can be lifesaver

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idontspam's picture

With 3500 Volvos...

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You can pretty much pick people up from every area in Bangalore with that many buses. Only they should run on jathropa or any other Ramar Pillai fuel and should have a corridor to be able to not clog the narrow roads of Bangalore.
blrsri's picture

monorail to airport option

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Many airports in Japan use monorail. Okinawa monorail is photo essayed here

http://www.monorails.org/tmspages/Okinawa1.html

Check the footprint on the road with the Naha airport monorail in Japan. This is pretty small.

Capacity is about 200 persons per train from Hitachi.

This will be fast to put together and something which the consultants would be interested in..as the investments are not too high and it can start operations fast!

 

s_yajaman's picture

Concrete islands as lane separators every 500m?

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narayan82's picture

Skywalks - inexpensive

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Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Devesh's picture

Locals block road to airport after mishap

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Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
narayan82's picture

Mono Rail

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Blrsi - I have proposed this idea way back. Your right - mono rail is cheaper and easier to build while taking up less land. The only reason why Metro was chosen over Mono was because mono can handle 20,000 Pax/Hour while Metro can hold almost 1,00,000. But if it is solely for the airport, than even 20,000 per hour is more than the final airport's capacity!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Devesh's picture

Monorail on road over road

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NHAI has this idea of elevated road from Hebbal to BIAL, aka the current mess at Hosur Road. Which is why the train has been shoved off to one side.

Compared to regular trains, monorails should be far lighter.  I wonder if anyone has considered putting a mono rail on top of the elevated road ? I am sure the pilings can be designed to handle both weights.

Or am I just pipe dreaming ?

-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

 

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
blrsri's picture

LRT on elevated road

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Mono rail straddle beam might need a seperate pillar but LRT on Elevated road should be a nice option..

But I think they wont go for this as these elevated roads will be built like the betl and the constructing consortium would depend on more number of individual vehicles than public transport using the road as it would mean more revenues for them!

Vasanth's picture

Mono over Metro ?

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For the Airport Link, I was thinking of 4 tracks, 2 for Metro and 2 for Airport Link. Airport Rail Link may not be patronized as much as the hype it has got since people want near to Home to Devanahalli solution which can be served by BMTC volvos.

Seeing this, a monorail should be sufficient to carry the airport passengers. Why can't we have Namma Metro from BRV to Yelahanka over which Mono for airport link. A civil/structural engineer would be the best person to answer. Is there any Civil engineer who is praja member who can comment on this?

s_yajaman's picture

My letter to Meru (water on a duck's back?)

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blrsri's picture

mono after yel? metro is the only answer!

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we can just have monorail after yelahanka..but we need to keep in mind about the non-flying airport workers who need to make the trip everyday..once the airport city comes up and the different sez's around devanahalli comes up..mono will not be good enough..nor the express train!

Standard guage Namma Metro is the only good answer!

s_yajaman's picture

I doubt any reply will come

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idontspam's picture

Where are the enablers?

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idontspam's picture

So much for discipline

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narayan82's picture

Driver Discipline

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Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
tsubba's picture

well put

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narayan82's picture

two wheelers and

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Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
sanchitnis's picture

Airport and other commuters

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For Kuala Lumpur International Airport there are alternate schedules every 15 minutes - one that goes non-stop followed by one that stops at intermediate stations. May be this model will be better for link to BIAL 
 
sandeepckeerthi's picture

Train to BIAL

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My thoughts are as follows:

The existing rail links around bangalore should be used to form a suburban service to BIAL and also to the city itself. With enough political backing SWR will do it and should be made to do it. Crude prices at USD 147 / barrel is reason enough for us not to ignore this facility staring us in the face. The daily toture on the roads is another. The best part is, if done properly, it should not take more than 500 -750 crores and should be completed in 1 to 1.5 years. Imagine, our lives better in just 1 - 1.5 years! 

All phases of the Metro should connect to the suburban service.

If there are problems with availibility of platforms, let us have the outlying stations like Yeshwanthpur, Kengeri, KR Puram, etc as the last stops for the inter city trains. People can take the suburban / Metro trains from there. We will reach home earlier than what we are used to today.

rs's picture

Train to BIA

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It seems to me absurd to spend 3700 crores on making a dedicated line to the airport considering 1. The airport itself cost 2500 crores 2. Namma Metro will cost around 6000 crores 3. There are existing under used train lines which can be modified to make trains to the airport very quickly and cheaply. Can't something be done about it ? This brainless idea will not only cost a lot but will destroy Chowdiah road and make traffic - which has only recently slightly impoved thanks to the magic boxes - awful for the duration of the project. Secondly, instead of making a train which travels at 160 km to the airport why cant they make a train which travels to Chennai and Bombay at that speed - if they did that then more than half the traffic to the airport will vanish. If the railways introduced a train which takes 10-12 hours to go to Mumbai - instead of the current 24 - then there would be a huge demand for it. There isnt much technology required to do this - the distance is 1000 km so the train would have to travel at a mere 90 km per hour ( currently it travels at a pathetic 45 ).
Devesh's picture

Give us a break, Mr Sreedharan

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Many NRI intensive forums like Skyscraper City, feel that Mr. E. Sreedharan's plans for the HSRL are the best, and we should proceed without any delay and proper examination of the financial viability.

While I have tremendous regards for Mr. Sreedharan, and his achievements on the Konkan railway, the DMRC is not quite the financial success as many have made it out to be.

I came across this article in today's Business Standard. http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=336473. Sunil Jain writes his opinions under the column Rational Expectations. It is kind of long, but well worth the read.

Sunil Jain: Give us a break, Mr Sreedharan
RATIONAL EXPECTATIONS
Sunil Jain / New Delhi October 6, 2008, 0:04 IST

In a fairly well-publicised letter to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief E Sreedharan has lambasted the Hyderabad public-private partnership (PPP) model, arguing that his state-owned model is the best one, that the Hyderabad model can “lead to a big political scandal”, that the idea’s to reap a windfall profit from the land allocated, and so on. He points out that while the Maytas consortium has agreed to pay the government Rs 30,300 crore over the project’s life (in terms of net present value, that’s Rs 1,240 crore), much of this is due to the fact that the government gave the metro 296 acres of land it can use for development — had this not been so, Sreedharan says Rs 10,000 crore more would have been required in terms of viability gap funding. Most who read the letter, the contents of which were liberally leaked to the press, would assume none of this applied to the DMRC — indeed, the finance ministry’s so impressed by the argument, it is actively examining the merits of this vis-a-vis the PPP model being pushed by the Planning Commission.

A closer look at the Delhi Metro annual report  makes it clear that most of these arguments are self-serving, apart from of course the fact that the DMRC model, where the Union and Delhi governments own just 50 per cent each of the equity, means that no one’s really in charge of the project — this has its own implications in terms of accountability and vigilance, but that’s the subject of another column. Let’s look at the sops the DMRC’s getting and compare them with the Hyderabad ones that have so shocked the DMRC chief.

In 2006-07, DMRC had a total loan base of Rs 6,648 crore, on which the average interest rate was 1.44 per cent and equity of Rs 3,702 crore, which had earned no dividend so far and looks unlikely to ever earn one. If you assume a market interest rate of even 12 per cent and the same return for equity (though equity returns are usually much higher), this means DMRC is getting an annual subsidy of more than Rs 1,000 crore. Nearly 90 per cent of the loan is a concessional one from the JBIC of Japan, but the exchange rate risk (which is significant in a project of such a long gestation) is borne by the Government of India.

DMRC never paid any excise/customs/sales taxes on capital equipment either — assume this to be a conservative 20 per cent and that’s a one-time saving of another Rs 2,000 crore, or another Rs 240 crore per year subsidy assuming the same 12 per cent interest rate. It also gets electricity at half the commercial rate, a saving of another Rs 25 crore per year. All this, by the way, when DMRC’s annual revenues are just Rs 543 crore, of which Rs 252 crore is from real estate transactions!

Contrast this with the Hyderabad case, where Maytas will raise all funds at commercial rates, has the same tariffs as the DMRC and will still pay the government a net present value of Rs 1,240 crore. So, the savings from the PPP route are obvious.

But if you’ve been following Sreedharan’s arguments, you’ll have noticed the fatal gap in my argument — there’s no mention of the 269 acres of real estate the Hyderabad metro’s got, what Sreedharan calls the selling of family silver. According to the DMRC chief, had this land not been given, Maytas would have asked for Rs 10,000 crore instead of offering to pay the government.

What’s important to keep in mind here is that the Delhi Metro itself got a huge amount of land — the 2006-07 annual report talks of 960 acres of land in just one place! In other words, whatever the Hyderabad metro got, Delhi Metro got many times that. And while the Hyderabad metro didn’t get any land to lease/sell (it can develop/lease only the space above the metro stations/depots), the Delhi Metro’s also transferring the leases of chunks of land for as many as 90 years — this is tantamount to selling government land. While DMRC’s auditors have said that this amounts to selling property and violates the law, the CAG says it is okay — the short point, however, is that DMRC’s land deal is a lot sweeter than Hyderabad could ever imagine. Not surprisingly then that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has levied a Rs 452 crore property tax on DMRC, which the latter has contested, citing the chief secretary’s decision that this would not be levied — the New Delhi Municipal Corporation has followed with a Rs 33 crore demand. Not paying taxes on the land, in turn, boosts Delhi Metro’s profits even more, and it’s unlikely the Hyderabad one will ever get any tax breaks like this. Interestingly, real estate income in 2006-07 accounted for 53 per cent of DMRC’s total revenues, nearly 70 per cent of EBDIT profits — in terms of pre-tax profits, real estate profits were 11.6 times the overall profits.

What’s most galling is that while the DMRC chief is so fulsome in his praise for his model, he doesn’t care to mention that even as he’s getting these hundreds of crores of annual sops, the metro’s struggling to meet even its physical targets. While the original target for Phase I was to carry 2.18 million passengers by 2005, this was lowered to 1.5 million in 2005 — the 2006-07 report says the ridership was 610,000! So, as the criticism of PPP projects builds up, you’ll do well to keep these facts in mind.

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Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

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Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
silkboard's picture

Sreedharan's "family silver" comment

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Thanks for sharing the article Devesh.

I read this article as well Devesh, and have been reading up all reactions to Mr Sreedharan's "selling family silver" comment. After I read this particular one today (I love Biz-standard BTW, first rate paper), I have been looking for details of BMRC, and even HSRL's land assets.

I have not read Mr Sreedharan's defense for his original letter to Hyd Metro Rail Corp though. I am sure one of these days, a national paper will carry either an article from him or an interview on the subject. I am waiting for that before jumping in with a reaction.

Devesh's picture

Sanity Check: Bangalore international airport rail link

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Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD

Economic Rate of Return

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blrsri's picture

airport express update

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Latest press report sat that the govt is moving ahead full steam to implement the express train to BIA and work is supposed to start from may next year and to be finished in around 3 years! Airlines are increasing fares. Gone will be the days of paying 500 for ticket to chennai..still remember paying 11K for one way tkt to Delhi in 2001..if it goes that high now, then Rajdhani will be a better option! Airlines are in deep red and govt is planning a bailout plan for them..so the ticket hikes are inevitable! So projected numbers for air travel will surely get hit and so will the numebr of ppl travelling by the express train.. Somebody needs to put a stop to this stupid idea!
Vinay's picture

One of the most wasteful ideas I have come across

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I mean, it is probably the most worthless investment that can be thought of. Or wait a minute - maybe it is not so worthless after all. Maybe they are trying to get an entry into the Guiness book of world records by doing all the following on Bellary road: 1) Signal-Less road 2) Namma Metro to Yelahanka (Bellary road) 3) Dedicated airport train (via Bellary road, of course) 4) Elevated Expressway (inspired by Hosur Road) 5) Underground Road till Minsk Square (far, far underground - much below all the underpasses and magic boxes) 6) Monorail, for added effect. Ah, the stuff of dreams. Just imagine - if they do this, Bellary road will become a world famous tourist attraction. Why, it might even be listed as one of the modern wonders of the world!! Utopia for people like me, who live in the vicinity of Bellary road!! Bring it on, cheers!

asj's picture

Perhaps we are under estimating their acumen

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What is a waste for us and makes no sense may be making full sense to those who have their hands in the pie called PPP. The crores of rupees spent will be earned many times over through either real estate developments along these projects or thrugh use of a TDR (transfer of development rights) to carry forwards FSI to other projects. These guys know well what they are doing, they know how to make their bucks and they will do all they can (including worsening of congestion by indiscriminate growth secondary to developments). The race however is on to enter Guiness book because Pune Corp is also managing to think the same way. JM Road will get everything - BRT, underground and eleveated metro (as will Pune-Satara road and Pune-Hadapsar road). I suspect Bangalore will take the cake given that they are ahead in the game (but hold on, Pune already has 16km of BRT, never mind that they forgot to make footpaths and cycle tracks in 22 months). This one is going to be a nail biting finish. Too close to call. ASJ
Roshan977's picture

City airport terminal a great idea

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I think its a great idea if its possible to check in at the City Terminal near MG Road. Once that's done its as if you only need to go to your departure gate to board your plane. I hope this is how they propose it.
deepak_here's picture

Bangalore Airport Connectivity

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Nice to see so many interesting and thoughtful comments on this issue.

My personal opinion is that this project should go through at the moment.It has taken a lot of hue and cry to clear this project to this current state and the report made by Sreedharan has almost reached the final levels of clearance( Pls. excuse my ignorance if it has been cleared already).

The infrastructure created by the high speed rail can be reused by many other modes of transport in the future.

Example:

1. Many stations could be created enroute so as to cater to transport between city/airport and those stations.

2. The Airport could have direct connectivity of Indian Rail services.

3. Bangalore badly needs a CBD to be created(which is also highly recommended in the Master Plan 2015). It really helps the economy if airport commute is about 30 minutes from CBD.

Sadly, there are more than 2 or 3 CBD in Bangalore today. Electronic City is a Business District, Whitefield is another while the MG Road area is still the core part and needs to be developed as a proper CBD with a network of public transport options to reduce the surface/road chaos.

The high speed rail option is successful in many cities. London has a similar option called Heathrow Connect which also shares the inrastructure with Network Rail and connects the city of London with Airport in 30 mns.

Rome has a similar rail connect with the airport and the centre of the city.However, the airport train in Rome is slow with lots of intermittent stops and takes about  40 mns for a 30km ride !

idontspam's picture

Sadly, there are more than 2

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Sadly, there are more than 2 or 3 CBD in Bangalore today.

EC and Whitefield are industrial parks. While our CBD is still the shantytown where we invested 10k crore for a metro.

vmenon's picture

high speed rail

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"The infrastructure created by the high speed rail can be reused by many other modes of transport in the future"

 

I think the main arguments against the high speed is just that, as per the project reports and statements..

a) it is exclusively a point to point track, integrating with metro at only one start point. 

b)Even if there are stations in between the pricing will go out of whack for non airport travellers.

c)Once an alignment is made  for high speed on that corridor ,there will no space for another "aam admi" metro line.

it is interesting to note that abide( or at least some  members on abide )are against the high speed  rail, but it seems to be going on anyway.

Makes you think where actual power really is, and whether the argument of the all powerful abide is really valid.  .

vmenon  

 

Naveen's picture

Hi-spd rail - Kannur /Bagalur route better

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Vijay,

Whilst admitting the negatives about hi-speed rail including the high costs, I don't think connectivity to northern suburbs will be fully compromised (this will no doubt become a necessity in the long-term). It is just that a Metro track cannot be placed on Bellary road if a hi-speed rail is positioned there first.

BMRC has already indicated that a route to Yelahanka can be planned, going past Nagavara (Kempapura rd), Sahakarnagar & Vidyaranyapura. Further extension of this line is also possible along SH104 (past Kannur & Bagalur upto Devanahalli, though it would not be the ideal.

In this context, I'm not surprised with the politicians & the govt doggedly pursuing the idea of a hi-speed rail along Bellary rd & not along SH-104 (ie. along Hennur rd, past Kannur /Bagalur) - this would have saved on distance & construction costs as it can reach the airport directly without the deviation of about 5km from Bellary rd + it would also have left Bellary rd open as a possible future Metro route.

This (ie. the idea of a hi-speed rail along Bellary rd) is probably another example in the long list of the more attractive, lop-sided short-term planning measures by political parties to gain more visibility & claim credits for "building infrastructure" - unfortunately, this is what sells better in this coutry!

As regards aam aadmis, those that have to use hi-speed rail daily will of course have to be offered concessional passes, similar to what was done in KL, where airport is too far from city center, similar to Bangalore. Airport workers, cargo complex employees or business park staff will probably get to use the train at concessional rates, but non-regulars will have to pay heavily!

Ravi_D's picture

HSRL - Fare Structure

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HSRL DPR proposed this fare structure:

 

15.0 THE PROPOSED FARE STRUCTURE

15.1 Fare structure proposed to be adopted at the time of opening of the Airport Rail

Link will be as under:

From CAT at Police grounds to International Airport = Rs. 200/-

From Hebbal to International Airport = Rs. 150/-

From Yelahanka to International Airport = Rs. 100/-

15.2 Monthly or quarterly season tickets will be priced on the basis of Rs.50/- per

journey and forty journeys per month i.e. Rs.2000/- p.m.

 

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