New lease of life for High Speed Rail Link

Bangalore : The High Speed Rail Link (HSRL) to Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) is all set to pick up speed after initial hiccups. The
Rs 5,700-crore project is coming up for the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) review by the central government.

Notwithstanding the economic meltdown, 27 companies of international repute have applied for the public-private partnership (PPP) project.

Billed as one of the largest PPP projects, the proposal will be placed before the Centre for clearance to avail of Rs 1,040 crore, a grant to be released under VGF. The meeting, earlier scheduled for this week, has been postponed to May 10. Once the project is cleared, the VGF will be released during implementation.

The project was stalled for a while last year due to bureaucratic wrangles. Just when everything seemed on track, the infrastructure development department and ABIDe lobbied hard against it and suggested alternatives. However, the implementing agency, Karnataka State Industrial Investment Development Corporation (KSIIDC), and Delhi Metro Rail’s E Sreedharan, pushed for the project. Finally, the state cabinet, which met in Belgaum during the legislative session in January, gave its nod — all over again.

Earlier, tenders were floated for Request For Qualification in August but after cabinet approval, KSIIDC called for a second pre-bid meeting next month with the 27 firms which participated in the tendering process.

The 34-km rail link starts from M G Road and runs along the right side of the national highway to reach BIA. For the project, an estimated 162 acres have to be acquired, of which 130 are private and NHAI lands. Compensation of Rs 532 crore has been allocated for private lands and government/BBMP properties will be acquired free of cost.

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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