This comes after the metro authority had repeatedly denied the information, even in a Right to Information reply.

Bluru citizen activism wins BMRCL forced to make Metro Phase-II plans public
news News Friday, October 13, 2017 - 09:47

In yet another victory for citizen activism in Bengaluru, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation has uploaded the detailed project report (DPR) of the Namma Metro Phase-II on its website.

This comes after the metro authority had repeatedly denied the information, even in a Right to Information reply. The BMRCL had said that the DPR cannot be made public as it is an intellectual property.

The Metro Corporation had stated that it was not bound to share information under section 8 (1) d and e of the RTI Act 2005, on the grounds of intellectual property, citing the example of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

The section 8 (1) d and e reads as follows:

“Information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.” 

“Information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.” 

However, the DPRs of other metro railway projects of the city are available in the public domain. In fact, the DPR of Phase-I of the Namma Metro itself was available for public scrutiny.

But activists have stressed that the clauses state information could be made public in the ‘larger public interest’ and it is this exemption which RTI applicants now seek to follow up on.

The BMRCL has been at the receiving end of criticism and faced demonstrations for changing the locations of two metro stations in the second phase of Bengaluru Metro project.

Read: Bengaluru commuters want metro next to Cantonment railway station but is BMRCL listening?

Activists feel that moving Cantonment and Whitefield away from surface railway stations (as originally proposed) will not help ease the traffic situation in the city by not integrating different modes of transport.

The BMRCL has maintained that the difficulty to acquire land and increased costs were the reasons for shifting the originally proposed locations.

Recently, the BMRCL had also boycotted a citizen round table focussed on integration of different modes of transport and had objected to the presence of media at the event.

The event had representations from citizens, urban mobility experts, BMTC officials, urban land transport department and even politicians.   

Incidentally, MPs of both the Congress and BJP who were present at the meet, spoke in favour of releasing the DPR. 

Reacting to this, Narendra Kumar, an activist, said, "This is our victory. It is nothing but fulfilling of promises by both MPs PC Mohan and Rajeev Gowda, after facing pressure from the citizens. The citizens put pressure on the political class, and they have corrected themselves."

Read: 'Make Bengaluru Namma Metro Phase II plan public’: Cong, BJP MPs unhappy over secrecy

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