BIAL Partners with Railways and Namma Metro on 2 Airport Connectivity Projects
AVIATION & AIRPORTS

BIAL Partners with Railways and Namma Metro on 2 Airport Connectivity Projects

In what appears to be a first of its kind initiative in India, the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) has inked agreements for the construction of the Kempegowda International Airport Railway Station and ORR-Airport Metro under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

For the first project, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was inked between the Indian Railways and Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) by way of a unique partnership with an innovative model of financing for the construction of the halt station, the Kempegowda International Airport Railway Station.

The construction of this railway station is near completion and it is scheduled to be operationalised shortly.

In what appears to be a first of its kind initiative in India, the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) has inked agreements for the construction of the Kempegowda International Airport Railway Station and ORR-Airport Metro under the public-private partnership (PPP) model. For the first project, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was inked between the Indian Railways and Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) by way of a unique partnership with an innovative model of financing for the construction of the halt station, the Kempegowda International Airport Railway Station. The construction of this railway station is near completion and it is scheduled to be operationalised shortly. BIAL is constructing the station and will hand over the station to Asia’s second-largest rail transporter, which will look after its operation and maintenance. BIAL will provide free shuttle service from the airport halt station to the terminal and other parts of the airport as per the schedule of the trains. The initiative also seeks to provide an economical and efficient mode of transport to the residents and business commuters from all parts of the nation’s Silicon Valley. Speaking at the MoU signing held in Bengaluru, the Karnataka Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa thanked the Central Government for supporting the project. He congratulated BIAL and the Railways for working together on this innovative financing model of the much-needed public transport system for the city. “There have been relentless efforts of all agencies of the State Government, Central Government and various stakeholders, including BIAL, working in tandem towards the dream of improving public transportation infrastructure, which will boost our economy and facilitate the growth of the nation,” surmised Suresh Angadi, Minister of State for Railways while speaking on the occasion. Ajay Kumar Singh, General Manager, South Western Railway informed that the Railways was open to all innovative transport and the airport connectivity was a game-changer wherein road, rail and air were being networked for the ease of movement. “At BIAL, we are extremely excited to contribute to enabling rail connectivity to and from BLR Airport, creating the potential for easy access between Bengaluru and the airport, especially for the common people. There is an increasing need to offer seamless experiences, and BIAL is committed to offering travel options to simplify not only the passenger journey but also facilitate optimal use of the airport facilities and ambiance,” opined Hari Marar, Managing Director & CEO, BIAL. Ashok Kumar Verma, Divisional Railway Manager, Bengaluru Division was also present at the signing ceremony. Construction of ORR-Airport Metro Under the second transportation project to improve connectivity to the airport, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corp. Ltd (BMRCL) and BIAL have signed an MoU to establish the 4.95 km airport section of the ORR-Airport Metro at an estimated cost of Rs 8 billion. Likely to be commissioned by December 2024, the metro connectivity would provide a sustainable and efficient mode of transport to the residents and business commuters from all parts of the city and ease traffic congestion on the roads leading to the airport. BMRCL will construct the airport metro section, along with civil, electro-mechanical, other associated facilities, works and related assets, whereas BIAL will develop, manage and maintain the two metro stations that will be located within the airport’s boundary. This airport section is a part of the total 56 km ORR-Airport Metro from Central Silk Board Junction to Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru Terminals via KR Puram and Hebbal. The project is being established by BMRCL at a total estimated cost of Rs 148.44 billion and is likely to serve 780,000 commuters daily on completion. The two stations located inside the airport are projected to witness a daily ridership of 60,000 commuters in 2024, increasing to 188,000 commuters by 2041. The civil work on the airport metro section is likely to commence in March 2021. The tenders for civil works on the 56 km metro viaduct and 30 stations, with an estimated cost of over Rs 32.3 billion, have already been called in five packages. The work on the first two packages from Central Silk Board Junction to KR Puram is likely to commence in December 2020, and that on the three packages from KR Puram to the airport is likely to commence in March 2021. The airport section and the section from Hebbal to the Trumpet Junction will be prioritised. Almost two-thirds of the 94 acres of the land required for the ORR-Airport Metro has been acquired and handed over to BMRCL. The balance land is mostly for the metro depot near the Trumpet Junction. The shifting of the utilities, viz. electricity, water, streetlights, gas and telecom is underway by the concerned agencies. The ORR-Airport Metro is being established as per the Metro Policy 2017 with equal equity financing being provided by the Govt of India and Karnataka Government. The Central Government’s approval for the project is expected by December 2020. Besides, the centre has already posed the project for financing by way of long-term loans of about Rs 58 billion with a moderate interest rate by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Formal approvals for the loans are likely by March 2021. Chief Minister Yediyurappa expressed his gratitude to the Central Government for supporting the project as per the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA)’s Metro Policy, 2017, by way of equity and long-term external loans from multilateral and bilateral development agencies. He congratulated BIAL and BMRCL for working out this innovative way of financing the much-needed mobility infrastructure for the city. “All agencies of the state and central governments and stakeholders in the city should work in tandem towards the goal of the comprehensive and integrated multi-modal connectivity infrastructure for the new century as set by Hon’ble Prime Minister in his address to the Nation on the 74th Independence Day”, said Yediyurappa. “We are extremely happy to have BIAL’s support for the vision of ‘sustainable and efficient transport for all’ as set in the Comprehensive Mobility Plan formulated by the Bangalore Metropolitan and Land Transport Authority (BMLTA). BMRCL is committed to and is working actively to add 128 km of new metro network in the coming five years”, said Ajay Seth, Managing Director, BMRCL. “At BIAL, we are extremely excited to participate in enabling metro connectivity to and from Bangalore Airport, creating the potential for easy access between Bengaluru and the airport. There is an increasing need to offer seamless experiences, and BIAL is committed to offering travel options to simplify the passenger journey,” added Marar. - MANISH PANT

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