Continuing on the proposals to start Trains to BIA on South Western Railway's tracks, some of us got a note from Prof Sreehari where he is arguing for investment on this Railway system (CRS) over the proposed High Speed Rail Link (HSRL). News reports have suggested that HSRL is almost dead. The current action on CRS is likely a related event. Here is the note from Prof Sreehari (see below) with some details:
[Please do pour in your constructive thoughts on the previous thread or this one, more constructive we are, better the chances of being heard. This post is to highlight the support the CRS.concept enjoys]
Please find herewith attached important information regarding the utilisation of existing Bangalore - Chikkaballapur rail link which can also support BIA passengers without additional cost to State Govt. SWR has come forward to open up BIA traffic along this route with two pairs of trains from this month end. If required, the frequency can be increased. It is better to make use of this opportunity instead of spending Rs. 3,800 crore for HSRL, when a large number of priorities are in pipeline for Bangalore city.
TECHNO-ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY OF HSRL
- Is it a priority for Bangalore??
Prof.M.N.Sreehari, Traffic advisor & Consultant, Expert member to Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development, GoK, Bangalore.
- First of all we have to think whether it is necessary to go for several multimodal options for BIA when a very well laid 6 lane road is available in addition to 4 lane service roads for local traffic.
- The proposed cost for HSRL is 3800 crore (130 crore/km), 2500 crore for elevated expressway (without land acquiring cost) etc. just to cater one destination point, i.e. BIA. Is it really worth going for the same?
- For the estimated 11 million annual passengers (in an average 30,000 passengers per day and 1200 passengers per hour, distributed round the clock). Is such an uneconomic expenditure warranted? It is quite evident, even after the various proposed projects; most of the trips are shared by road based vehicles as they operate from door to door.
- If at all it is to supplement the road traffic, then a monorail is preferable, which is more economical to operate (35 kms at a cost of 85 crore/km as against 130 crore/km for HSRL/Metro). That too, only if the demand exists.
- If the State Govt. succumbs to the strong lobbying by HSRL advocating people, later it will have to repent the decision. Hence, it is better not to waste so much of money from exchequer on this cause, when we have other priorities like water supply, sewage, power, road widening, etc.
- The existing Bellary road has a V/C ratio of 0.37, which is a very good performance and considering the 10 years growth projection, this value may push to 0.6 or 0.7, which is still good.
- If the need arises, monorail is preferable with its lesser cost under PPP model.
- In Delhi, A/P link is provided because the same track moves to Gurgaon, which is a highly developed area and it is a major trunk route for traffic. Same need not be adopted here.
- Monorail can take 30 minutes (completed in PPP model), with zero pollution level, without any subsidy, runs on a small column and beam, which can be completed in a few months for the given ridership.
- Since Bangalore has a unique identity, problem and solutions, we need not follow any other city’s model.
- State Govt. should not patronize for this uneconomic and non viable projects like HSRL.
- Hence, it is more viable to run trains (without any expenditure) with suitable augmented frequency on the existing rail corridor upto Chikkaballapur and halt at Yerthaganahalli/Doddajala which is near BIA and integrate it with bus transport to BIA.
- Passengers can board the buses later to reach BIA using up-ramp (available for vehicles coming from Devanahalli side) to reach airport road.
- Existing Chikkaballapur railway line is proposed to be used initially with two pairs of trains, one from city station & another from Bangalore cantt station as assured from SWR without any expenditure from the state. The frequency can be increased based on the demand. About 1000 passengers can be transferred per direction per train, which takes about 60 minutes for one-way trip. Station can be located at Yerthaganahalli, where passengers can get down & take waiting bus to BIA.
- The attached drawing indicates the location.