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BMRC's Response to RTI Letter

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Metro Rail
Hi All ! BMRC has responded to my RTI queries(See comment below). It is clear that they have squarely made the Urban development dept in-charge of the more serious issues raised in the letter. As they have stated, suggestions made in the CTTP will be followed, subject to govt's approval. Metro Phase-2 is planned from Whitefield to Indiranagar & EC to Yelahanka. Their responses can be viewed at the following links: http://www.flickr.com/pho... http://www.flickr.com/pho... Is'nt there anything further about CTTP ? Is the detailed report still unavailable ?

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Naveen's picture

BMRC RTI Query

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Dear Sir, Pertaining to the Metro & Mono-Rail projects for Bangalore, I request you to please advise me on the following queries that I have under the Right to Information Act. 1) The total length in phase-1 is about 41 kms (with less than 7kms underground in CBD/dense areas). Studies by RITEs /iDeck reveal that even with the commissioning of NS & EW Metro lines as also Commuter rail services, congestion will not reduce significantly on several (52) key internal roads. Why is a more extensive Metro coverage not being pursued seriously & quickly? Why are new alignments not frozen to work on financials & carry out the long processes before actual construction begins in order to solve transport problems expeditiously for hapless commuters? In comparison, Delhi, which has an excellent road network, has frozen alignments for a vast Metro system over 230 kms (Four phases) & is quickly building phases I & II for completion by 2010 (with over 40kms underground in dense areas). 2) The target set for the Metro system for 2021 of 16.1 lakh commuters (at 15% traffic handling) appears inappropriate. It is obvious that & desirable that a much larger volume be handled by the system & that mass transit systems eventually replace BMTC as the prime /preferred means for commuting to ensure that road traffic & pollution do not continue to remain excessive. Is this not being addressed ? If it is, then what measures are being taken ? 3) The planned alignments for NS & EW Metro lines cover very little of the city’s central areas. Many cities such as Chicago & Marseille have a complete (underground) loop of several Metro lines in downtown, which enable commuters to alight close to their destinations & reduce the need for road-based public transport within CBDs. Delhi Metro is also planning Metro alignments similarly. Cannot Bangalore try to emulate these examples since the problem of road congestion can be dealt with far more effectively, & perhaps permanently with such an arrangement ? Is such a plan or any other non-road based system such as metro lines for various destinations that intersect at key nodes in different parts of CBDs under consideration ? Will this not positively minimize people from bringing their private vehicles into CBDs ? Will this not make it easier to regulate & impose traffic restrictions as needed by authorities as & when required ? 4) To explain my point, two maps of the city’s proposed transport system, as is probably being planned for by about 2015 (if all planned modes materialize) are attached. On the first map, metro routes for Phase-2 are approximately what may be being planned since it may be easy to build, less expensive & palatable to the public since disruptions would be fewer. The 2nd Map shows routes for Phase-2 which are more realistic & in tune with needs. The route from Marathalli to Trinity circle has been extended passing through Richmond road up to Corporation & thence to Lal Bagh West (via JC Rd). The other line from Silk-board junction to Hebbal is aligned through Diary circle, KH road, over the Storm drain to Lalbagh Road, Mission Rd, Corporation, Kasturba road, Minsk square, Balekundry circle, Cant Rly Stn. & Mekhri Circle. Some sections will have to be underground & minimum private land acquisition will be involved for such a routing (as is being done for the NS & EW routes). The alignment/s have parts of it similar to what was proposed earlier for ELRTS. Also, the route from Bannerghatta is shown extended from Adugodi thro’ Shoolay circle, Residency road, Mayo Hall, MG Rd & around Dickenson road to terminate near Commercial Street. Such a network, together with Phase-1 routes complete several “loops” & provides good connectivity within CBDs with interchanges & is far more functional (with seven nodes at Majestic, Lal bagh West, Corporation, Cricket stadium, Trinity circle, Dairy circle & at Shoolay circle). The need to provide road based public transport within CBDs will be greatly minimized, private vehicles can be reduced drastically & road traffic regulated &/or restricted much more easily. Richmond Rd, which frequently gets clogged during school times is also covered, but this section may have to be underground. The additional expenditure & disruption during construction will definitely be worth since this routing, together with the NS & EW routes covers most parts of CBDs. Is such a routing not feasible ? From a commuter's view point, I beleive that it is more sensible to get a good network in place within CBDs at the earliest as it will become more & more difficult later. Is a similar layout that serves the needs of the public being considered ? If not, what options are being explored ? 5) Three Monorail corridors proposed on ring road & one along Bannerghatta road have been recommended by the study report by RITES Ltd, based on requirements for year 2021 & the MRMRTS project is being pursued. Since the cost for a Monorail system is only marginally lesser than an elevated Metro system, why is an elevated Metro system (or at grade, if feasible) not being considered for the ORR & Bannerghatta road (upto IIM), both of which appear to be headed for very high growth ? If running cost/s are going to be high (such as power consumption, etc.) & capacity is excessive for the present, cannot the no. of trains operating on these (presently) lower density corridors be fewer in no. & with fewer coaches initially (which will also lower initial costs) & when eventually density increases, as it is bound to, the system can be expanded by increasing the no. of trains & adding coaches as necessary, without having to debate endlessly as to what is to be done & then, finally cause more disruptions & waste funds by investing again in other system/s ? 6) Monorail was pursued by one prominent politician claiming much lower costs & ease of installation. However, this is not really the case as cost comparisons have shown & viaducts would still have to be built. Is it not true that the Monorail system for ORR /BG Rd is being planned to reach a “balance” within political circles & with a motive to “please all” & not in tune with the reality of serious road congestion /transport problems that are staring us in the face & seem to threaten to be a bigger horror in the future (maybe after 2021, if not earlier) unless proper steps are taken immediately to address long term solutions ? Monorail systems in cities such as Sydney have not been much of a success & their capacity, as we know has limitations. Also, Monorail is generally designed for less denser routes & may work well for the airport–city link as also for connections to theme parks such as Bannerghatta National Park or to amusement /entertainment destinations on Mysore road, but here, we are planning to put it up on a 6-lane road with rapid growth & dense urbanization all along ! Is Monorail, which has only about 1/4th or 1/3rd the capacity of a Metro system, really suitable in the long run ? I would appreciate your comments. 7) A rapid bus system, running on dedicated corridors is being proposed from the northern side to the eastern /southern sides on the ring road (from Bellary road – Old Madras road – to Hosur road). This low cost bus system can perhaps cater to the immediate needs, if planned correctly (in Pune, it has been a total failure) but, since the growth rates are already very high along ORR on the north-eastern & south-eastern sides & will catch up elsewhere, is it not appropriate to also pursue Metro routes in the long-term for the entire length of ORR, particularly since it would, in conjunction with the other ‘through the core’ Metro corridors provide good connectivity to the IT hubs in the south-east, as also provide for other commuting needs all around the city ? 8) The approximate total length of an elaborate & effective Mass transport system for public transport, as can be visualized now with easy options for further expansion would only be about 170 kms as follows : 1st Phase (NS & EW lines) – 41 kms 2nd Phase – appx 40 kms ORR & connecting laps – 90 kms appx The response & development of infrastructure appear too slow & as ad-hoc “arrangements” to tide over the problem for the present. Long term permanent solutions are not being fully & properly worked out, addressed or concentrated upon & remedies are not being put in place in good time with endless debate. We have Beijing as an example where with high growth rates & excessive dependence on road based systems, & even after five ring roads, traffic & pollution continue to be serious problems with a subway system that is ineffective. Bangalore appears to be heading in the same direction – though it is very obvious that if a good transport network is not in place quickly, the city will lose out on it’s prominent IT status & become highly inefficient. Surely, it does not require a RITEs CTTS study to infer this. Is it not prudent for BMRC, the body mandated to plan & provide mass transit systems, to prepare blue-prints for a long term strategy & work towards achieving it rather than work in installments as is the case now & has been all along with road /transport infrastructure planning in the city ? Why are projected statistics for 2021 being used as the bottom-line /benchmark for all mass transport development plans ? Will all growth halt after 2021 ? Would it not be wiser to look even further, now that an authority is in place & prepare a road map that will allow for quicker & easier additions & expansions in handling capacities as & when required anytime, even after 2021, rather than react only after commuters & the general public have been harassed & subjected to years of heavy road congestion & a great deal of inconveniences ? An example is the lack of thrust on the new airport transport link/s that has been criticized even by the aviation ministry. Clearly, Bangalore has been lagging far behind in creating transport infrastructure in tune with the needs & in due time. Can this never change, even after a Mass transit authority is in place ? JNNURM guidelines emphasize the need to encourage public transport. The UN State of the World Population 2007 Report states that over 40% of the country’s population will live in urban areas by about 2030, & Bangalore with an already high growth rate, will certainly see further growth rapidly, particularly since more & more jobs are being created each day here, climate is conducive, quality of life & the water situation at the moment is far better than most other metros. The city is bound to double it’s population within the next 15-20 years, given it’s increasing cosmopolitan character. However, this scenario is not being taken seriously in long-term transport infrastructure development strategies & the “adjust maadi” culture seems set to continue until at some stage, total breakdown is reached, unless urgent & appropriate steps are taken now. Awaiting your response, Sincerely Yours, Capt.Naveen Chandra ------------------- Also See: Questions About MRTS Bangalore
tsubba's picture

response...

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congratulations naveen! and thanks for sharing it. well atleast we learnt that it is the UDD that is responsible for over all planning. it is not clear from the letter who is going to take the initiative to achieve seamless integration? its amazing that you've picked up the Whitefield-I'nagar and EC-Y'hanka lines too. right on the dot. are you sure BMRC didnot RTI you? :)
Naveen's picture

Metro - Phase II

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TS - Thanks, again. I think it was quite obvious --- Other than those covered in Phase-I, the dense corridors requiring connectivity & suitable for installing viaducts were : 1) Airport Rd, Marathalli /Whitefield /ITPL, 2) Hosur Rd, Silkboard /EC, 3) Bellary Rd, Hebbal /Yelahanka, 4) KR Puram /Whitefield Rd (Covered by Commuter Rail), 5) Magadi Rd (Covered by MonoRail), & 6) Bannerghatta Rd (Covered by MonoRail). Sarjapur Rd, Banaswadi Rd, Hennur Rd, Nagavara Rd, BEL Rd & Jalahalli Rd were not really suitable due to small width /low density, at present & were ruled out, at least for now. Hence, it was reasonable to expect an alignment from either Martahalli or ITPL to be connected to EW line thro' airport road. Similarly, an alignment connecting Silkboard with Hebbal was also expected. I had hoped they carry the airport rd line thro' Trinity & beyond along Richmond Rd, etc, but they seem to plan to terminate it at Indiranagar 100ft road EW line station. This may overload the EW line thro' MG road, at sometime in the future as all traffic from east will have to pass on this line. Also, it remains to be seen if they route the Yelahanka~EC line thro' Corpn or merely run it on Hosur road past Adugodi /Shoolay - this may then not provide sufficient coverage within CBDs & road congestion may continue.
silkboard's picture

fantastic

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fantastic job Naveen, and thanks again for sharing the reply as well as original questions. Wish the PRO provided more detailed answers for the phase II question. EC to Yelahanka route isn't that obvious on North side, thought mention of Hosur Road in another question makes it clear that it would run on or near it. Wonder where exactly they will build it. On top of the elevated expressway (BETL) itself, another level !? :) Most likely on top of service road on one side I guess. Indiranagar to Whitefield too is very ambiguous. May be they haven't done their traffic studies yet, or may be they are not willing to share their draft plans.
s_yajaman's picture

RTI process?

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Dear Naveen, Could you let us know how you went about the RTI? Did you have to go personally? In whose name do you have to make the Rs.10 fee? Is it a postal order only? Thanks a lot. Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Naveen's picture

RTI Processing

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Hi Srivathsa, Yr question noted, thanks. I had emailed my letter with queries to BMRC & also followed up by telephone. They had stated that they require about two weeks for processing & will revert if my letter can be considered under RTI ! After about two weeks, I had received a letter from them that they would respond to my queries & that I had to pay the fee (Rs.10/-) at their office. So, accordingly, I went to their office on double road (KH Rd) at the BMTC terminus building (3rd floor, I think) & paid the fee by cash for which a receipt was issued. This fee is an initial fee & additional amounts may be involved if drawings /photocopies, etc. are requested. In about another two weeks, I had received their reply, but they have clearly indicated that they are only responsible for delivering the project as mandated by the govt. They are not the authority for planning & decision making - this is done by Urban development dept, which is controlled by the govt in power, I guess. Trust this information is useful to you (& others). If you need anything further, pls revert.
s_yajaman's picture

RTI - thanks

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Dear Naveen, Thanks a lot. I wanted to work on a few RTI requests with the BBMP and the traffic police. Will let the forum know if I have done it and if I have been successful. Thanks, Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

tsubba's picture

RTI Processing

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Thanks naveen. good luck sri.
Gautamrao's picture

Ambiguity with regard to Phases of metro railway.

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Dear Capt. Naveen,

Thanks a lot for your message and the RTI application. I recently filed an RTI application with the BMRCL asking for maps from Phase-1 to Phase-4. They sent me a map that indicated a rail line from Byappanahalli to Mysore road and Jaraganahalli to Hessaraghatta road. Nowehere was it mentioned that Phase-2 consisted of an alignment from Whitefield to Indiranagar and Electronic City to Yelahanka. [Infact, I had asked upto phase-4]. Have the BMRCL people misled me?

With regard to the RITES project that has been submitted to the Urban development department [CTTS], can we get a copy from the UDD? Or, is it going to run into thousands of pages and an expensive one to ask for? Any idea about that?

tsubba's picture

metro

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there are 4 phases of the metro? dpr still in works http://deccanherald.com/C... Sources further said other issues discussed included the detailed project report (DPR) being prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for the second phase of the ‘Namma Metro’ corridor to include metro connectivity from Electronic City to Yelahanka and Whitefield (ITPL) to Indiranagar.
Vasanth's picture

Any updates on the Mono First Phase and Second Phase?

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No work has been started yet on the Mono rail front although alignments are decided. Any news on the second phase of mono?

Lots of localities needs to be connected using Mono to the Main line Metro. But, no progress on this so far.

Although there is lot of aversion about mono to many people, Monos with 100 members seating capacity and 190 combined seating and standing capacity is available by most of the manufacturers.

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