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BIAL to invest in the high speed rail to the airport. Interestingly the rail connectivity to cost more than the airport itself.

BIAL May Pilot Rail Link To Devanahalli Airport

Madhumathi D.S. Bangalore, July 13

Bangalore International Airport Ltd is ready to invest in and be a partner in providing an express rail link from the city to the airport site at Devanahalli, according to its CEO, Mr Albert Brunner. The BIAL board has approved the consortium’s taking a new role beyond just building the greenfield airport, he told Business Line. Admitting that a high speed access to the airport was “our weak point right now,” M r Brunner said the company was keen on smoothening passenger movement to and from Devanahalli, 40 km from the city on the busy NH7. BIAL, he said, was expecting the State Government to make the next moves on the modalities.

High-speed railway The high-speed railway, according to Mr V.P. Baligar, Principal Secretary, Infrastructure Development Department, would involve BIAL as the majority partner, any other suitable agency and the State Government on the public-private partnership model. “This is a government project and we have requested BIAL to participate in it.” Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd is expected to complete the detailed project report by the end of this month, according to Mr Baligar. He hoped that the tender would be called by the end of 2007 after getting the necessary Cabinet clearances for the project and the alignment.

Part elevated at the city side and part underground at the airport side, the rail link could cost as much as Rs 3,500 crore. It would start at a central point in the city for which a few options were being considered.

The Rs 1,930-crore project is being built by consortium of Siemens, L&T and Unique Zurich who hold 74 per cent stake; Airports Authority and the Karnataka Government holding 13 per cent equity each. The airport will be physically completed this year and take off commercially in April 2008.

The rail link, when it happens, would be BIAL’s second extended investment outside the project. The airport SPV, along with L&T, has initiated a Rs 117-crore ‘trumpet’ expressway linking it from either side of NH7. Mr Brunner was optimistic of completing the stretch by April 2008. Part of the required land is in dispute and doing the third loop depends on the court verdict, he said.

 

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