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Karnataka high-speed rail plan hits legal roadblock

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Commuter RailPublic Transport

A high-speed rail link (HSRL) project connecting Bangalore to its new international airport, proposed at a cost of Rs 6,000 crore and intended to reduce commuting time from the present one hour to 20 minutes, has hit speed breakers over the legal framework the project is to be implemented under. In 2006, the Karnataka government proposed to implement the project under the Mysore Tramway Act 1905, but with the new airport located outside the jurisdiction of the city corporation or the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike, where the Act is not applicable, the government has been forced to stall the project indefinitely while it pursues a legal resolution.

The Karnataka government, not keen to implement the project in association with the Indian Railways, is pursuing the Central government to delegate powers under the Metro Railway (Construction) Act of 1980 to enable implementation of the HSRL project beyond the present Bangalore city limits.

Now project gets delayed further and cost will go up, so the Travell cost by HSRL too. We can expect the HSRL by 2016 only. Mean time we should enjoy paying the Toll for NH-7 too.

Now its high time for State & center to come forward on Commuter Rail and get the project sanctioned.  In between HSRL can take its own sweat time to get life.



Sanjeev's picture

Cabbies take Volvos for a ride to Devanhalli

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Need to reach the airport as fast as you can, but is that fat taxi fare bothering you? Relax, there’s a perfect solution -- obliging cabbies who’ll make the dash to Devanahalli easy on your purse.

The economics is simple. Cabs, particularly those assigned by hotels to collect passengers from the airport, have to make an empty trip to the airport. Cashing on the situation, several cabbies make quick bucks by luring passengers waiting for a bus with a cheaper fare.

As the  running cost of Cabs is high for BIAl like parking fee at BIAL Terminal,  distance  & to Cabsneed  to make money to pay the  vechile loan.

We will see competition going up  but  will create traffic mess similar to Autos on the street at BIAL Terminal, this my experience at night flights landing at BIAL.

This effect will be seen even on HSRL when it happens.

vlnarayan's picture

Decks cleared for HSRL

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The Union Government has finally given its nod for implementing the High Speed Rail Link (HSRL) project to Bengaluru International Airport.

The Central government is likely to be an equity partner in the Rs 6,689-crore public-private-partnership (PPP) project. The 33-km HSRL route originates from Police Parade ground on M G Road and terminates at BIA.

“The permission has been granted for the project under the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, which allows operation of a mass rapid transit system (MRTS) in the Bangalore Metropolitan Region limits. The Union government has also evinced interest to invest in the project. With this, the project has crossed all legal hurdles. It will now be taken up on a fast track,” said Principal Secretary to Department of Infrastructure Development (IDD) V Madhu.

Like the Namma Metro, the HSRL too was planned under the Mysore Tramway Act. Though the Tramway Act is a State legislation, amending it to allow operation of HSRL in rural areas is a lengthy and cumbersome process, as it has to get the assent of the President of India, he added. As per the Tramway Act, a MRTS can be operated only in the Corporation limits. The HSRL has to operate out of BBMP limits - beyond Yelahanka - to Devanahalli. The state government, as a result, requested the Centre to allow it to implement the project
under The Metro Railways Act.

Loss of face

The government had to suffer loss of face as it failed to finalise the tender process due to legal hurdle in 2009. As many as five consortiums, comprising big companies, had been shortlisted in the Request for Qualification (RFQ) process in 2009. The shortlisted consortia are: Reliance Infrastructure and CSR Nanjing Puzhen Rolling Stock Company of China, Larsen & Toubro and Transco Ltd, ITD-ITD Cementation joint venture (Italian–Thai Development Public Company and ITD Cementation India Limited), Pioneer Infratech and Siemens Project Ventures Gmbh and Lanco Infratech and OHL Concesiones of Spain. Besides, the State had to bear huge burden in the form of cost escalation of the project, due to the Centre’s delay to clear the legal hurdle. The cost of the project went up to Rs 6,689 cr from the initial estimate of Rs 5,700 cr.

Vasanth's picture

Delhi Airport Express gets safety approval

168 users have liked.

 Delhi Airport Express gets safety approval and services will be launched this week. It was originally designed for 120kph, but railway safety committee has asked to run trains at 105kph.

For 22 kms, it costs whooping 38,000 crores and traverses it in 20 minutes from Delhi Railway Station to Airport..

Isn't it a white elephant? 

srinidhi's picture

airport links and ego's

187 users have liked.

such projects mostly cater to the egos of a select few and do hardly any good for the public..

The main point raised for not having metro is that it does not generate enough ridership now..since the route is not populated enough..however with all the plans to industrialize the airport belt..the ITIR etc..the numbers will easily grow..its like what comes first..infra follows development or infra leads development..I find the latter a better way..cos it costs cheaper!

About money..if metro can be done on PPP in hyd..whats the big deal for doing it for blr? 

Vasanth's picture


186 users have liked.

Yeshwantpur - Devanahalli  train leaves YPR at 10:40 and reaches DHL at 11:45. Add 10 more minutes to reach City Station, so it takes 1 hour 15 minutes. This has got so many stoppages and no A/C coaches intended by hi-tech plane passengers.

If this train itself could be tuned further, by reducing the stops , having only at Yeshwantpur  and Yelahanka, travel time could be reduced to 40-50 minutes.

A loop line linking Devanahalli Airport with a station in Airport would cost less than 100cr including hi-fi LHB coaches capable of 150 kph capable rolling stock.  

To this, add a dedicated track from YPR to Devanahalli. Distance is 30 kms. At 8crore per km, at 240 crores, we could get a new dedicated track all the way.

Loop track will also enable cargo movement from planes to other cities by goods trains.

Problem is, SWR is not interested in intracity trains.


Sanjeev's picture

In case of Devanhalli, State wants HSRL, not the SWR

204 users have liked.


what you say is common sense and our politicans or state officials do not care for this.

Technically also HSRL will not be High speed, its METRO with less stops.  As our Railways Shatabdis can run at 150KM / h using LHB coaches,  whats big deal in operating speed of 100 KM / h of HSRL.

Public will realise  over the period its not High speed  like Shatabdi.  Cost of the project will touch 10000 crore soon and fares can be Rs 1000 / on single trip.

Over the period, we have realised that state govt wants connectivity to BIAL  thru' HSRL only and does not want to use existing lines of SWR.   

One can see the events how its unfolded :

1. Report  of  CTTP2007  was ensured that  Local Trains / Commuter Rail is not included the Devanhalli streatch.

2. Subsequently when SWR has asked for land at Bangalore city and Biyyappanahalli, State is not keen on giving this land, as they may want to give it some influencial person. 

3. Look at the status of Biayyappnahalli station :

The railways require about 50 acres of land, which is available with the NGEF. However, the State Government, which owned the NGEF, has demanded Rs. 200 crore security deposit and the railways doesn't have the money.

4. Same is the case with Binny Mill Land handing over to Railways  :

BBMP has decided to hand over nearly 1.5 acres of Binny Mills land in return for the railway land required for the Okalipuram signal free corridor

Land is only 1.5 acers, where as available Binny mill land is in 30 acers. See the news report

The acquisition of the 30-acre land will fall perfectly into the Railways’ plans of expansion, that it sorely needs.

5. State Govt : IDD  has refused to pay the amount for YH-1 / YD-1 rakes ie Rs 10 crore even after agreeing to pay the amount. 

6. State Govt offcial or Politicans do not have time to meet Railway Board or  Railway Minister at Delhi, but they have  all the time to save their skin or blame others in the public forums.  Karnataka MP's / MLA's are not united when it comes to demanding at center, they look at which party is doing lobby.

It looks we are at mercy of our own elected representative who do not care for the public,  they care where the honey is available.

rackstar's picture

Not yeshwantpur

167 users have liked.

Instead of yeshwantpur/city/kengeri side linking to airport, better option would be baiyappanahalli/bellandur/karmelaram as more airport travellers from IT belt side.

I dont think u need railway for air cargo, it wont be as much.

Sanjeev's picture

Finally HSRL approval with 50:50 by GoK & GoI, still confusion

191 users have liked.

After eight months of deadlock, the Centre has cleared the high-speed rail link (HSRL) connecting Bangalore to the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA). The central empowered committee has not only approved the much-awaited HSRL, but also agreed to take up project on a 50:50 basis, thus, reducing the state’s burden.

The Centre’s approval however, comes with a rider. The projects must be executed under the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978, and Metro Operations and Maintenance Act, 2002. Karnataka has agreed to amend the Acts to speed up the project.

As earlier GoK was trying to take up under Mysore Tramways Act  1978  and now GoI has given approval with Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978, and Metro Operations and Maintenance Act, 2002. 

Can any one  explain what will be the difference between Mysore Tramway Act & METRO Act,,  how  this make difference in the project, except the expanding  corporation limits of BBMP.  Also as now GoI has agreed to take up  on  50:50  basis, does mean VGF is not provided,  then GoI is also partner with GoK, then what will be the role of Private partner 

Sanjeev's picture

Why their is confusion as CM / GoK saying decision not yet taken

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why Bangalore should have a high-speed train link to the airport when Delhi has only a Metro which will be connected to the airport shortly, the chief minister said no final decision has been taken in this regard. “Discussions are on. We are aware of the high cost of the proposed Bangalore’s high-speed City-airport train link. We will take a decision keeping the cost factor in view,” he added

After so much activites,  why CM is not clear about the High cost project.   Why is he changing when he was clearly knew its high cost affair and  as Center GoI has come forward to be partner with 50:50 basis,  suddenly their is change in the stand as their will not be VGF for the project and Center will be partner.

More confusion to HSRL  then progress of the project.


rs's picture

Hope will survive....

186 users have liked.

One can only hope that the high cost will stop this nonsensical project from ever taking off.



srinidhi's picture

need to plan Tahrir Square style protest..

185 users have liked. stop this insane project!

Waste of resources..completely..Mr Madhu doesnt even have clarity on the ridership  for HSRL..he recently quoted that only 25% would come from BIA traffic..if thats the case its no more a airport specific train..then if it is not..the high cost prohibits general public usage!

It will be a total waste of money if they go on with this! comment guidelines

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