The proposed route would probably look like this (my educated guess since the map in newspaper was not of a fine granularity).
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The starting station would be built on the Police Grounds, adjacent to Chinnaswamy Circket Stadium. It's not clear whether it would pass by the Raj Bhavan or circumvent that, but further on it would probably go along Sankey Road, passing by Bangalore Golf Club, the Windsor Manor and Palace Grounds to Mekhri Circle, further on toward the Hebbal Flyover and continue on along Bellary Road towards the Airport. Given DMRC preference of late, it is proabable that the entire route will be elevated.
There would be limited stops at Hebbal and Yellahanka.
So what's the problem ?!
A rail link to the new airport is an absolute must-have. The devil, as always, is in the detail.
The location of the starting station or 'city air terminal' is the Police Ground between MG and Cubbon Road. I have a huge problem with that. This will be the loss of one more of our precious and fast disappearing open spaces. Moreover, this is among the few playing areas in the heart of the city which are still accessible to the members of the public, as witnessed by usual early morning cricket games. You can't play in Cubbon Park, and definitely not in Chinnaswamy Stadium unless you are in the cricketing elite.
It is not clear how much of the ground will be lost, but with a large canvas available, the plans are likely to be elaborate. If we don't speak up now, this one is a goner.
BMRC has a large and better situated plot at their disposal a mere frisbee toss away. The Plaza theatre is beautifully situated on MG Road, has a reasonably large plot size, plus additional access to Church Street at the back. It is to serve as station on the Line 1, but is clearly an overkill for such a limited purpose. Integrating the starting point of the airport link into Plaza will better utilize this property. Moreover, it will seamlessly integrate the Airport Link with the rest of the Metro network. Potentially, a traveler (with limited luggage) could board the Metro at any point between Mysore Road and Old Madras, get off at Plaza, go down a level and catch the airport train. The Police Ground plan introduces a small but inconvenient gap between the two lines, which will force people to walk or take a rick to bridge the gap, adversely affecting ridership.
This alignment is the exact same road most of Bangalore is going to take to get to the new Airport. It is already a high traffic corridor, barely 2 lanes in either direction most of the way, and is likely to turn nightmarish come April 08 when Devenahalli is functional. Now imagine that to add to this situation, you start construction along the median, taking out a lane on either side, probably more if we go by the experience of current construction on MG Road. I agree that it is short term pain for long term benefit, but we are talking about 18 months to 2 years here.
It is easy to find fault but what is the solution! Without the expertise and information available to the DMRC, it is difficult to come up with a viable alternative, but I have taken a shot at one, with the intent of throwing up ideas for discussion and debate.
So here's my route.
|Complete Route||Town Centre Detail|
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