In a victory for citizen activism in Bengaluru, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) signalled that the Cantonment metro station of Namma Metro Phase II may be built near the railway station as originally proposed. However, no official announcement has been made yet. Currently, the station is to be built on Madina Masjid grounds in Bamboo Bazaar.
On Saturday, engineers of the Bangalore Metro Railway Corporation conducted a survey along the Benson Crossroad where the station was proposed to be built as per the Detailed Project Report in 2011, reported The Times of India.
â€śOnce the exercise is completed, both options will be placed before the government. It will be up to them to take a decision on which alignment to choose,â€ť said a BMRCL official, according to The New Indian Express.
Until recently, the BMRCL was adamant on shifting the site of construction to the Madina Masjid grounds despite continuous opposition from local residents, activists and urban mobility experts alike.
The BMRCL had also boycotted a citizen roundtable which focussed on the integration of different modes of transport.
Speaking to The Hindu, activist Sanjeev V Dyamannavar termed the development as â€śpositiveâ€ť and said, â€śThe survey may disprove all the challenges the BMRCL has been claiming will hinder the construction of the line, including tunnelling under railway lines or length of the tunnel. Moreover, for the shaft it is possible to find areas where demolitions can be minimised.â€ť
Those opposed to the decision of shifting the metro to the grounds had argued that shifting the metro station will defeat the possibility of an integrated transport hub and hence, not solve the cityâ€™s existing traffic problem.
Moreover, the activists claimed that decision to shift the location of the upcoming metro station was taken without considering public opinion. A Change.org petition on the same had also gathered more than 35,000 signatures.
In its explanation, the BMRCL maintained that the change of location was done because acquiring BBMP land was easier than acquiring railway land. It added that with the new alignment will also save Rs 1000 crore and cut the travel time by one and half minutes.
This move comes after the BMRCL made the revised Detailed Project Report public after initially refusing to do so, citing intellectual property obligations.