BMRCL-Railway tussle halts Metro in tracks

Sep 15, 2011, 07:06 IST | Johnlee Abraham

RPF halts work on the Metro Reach 3, Railway justifies act by terming it an effort to save its plot from land grabbers

RPF halts work on the Metro Reach 3, Railway justifies act by terming it an effort to save its plot from land grabbers

Bangalore Metro's courtship with trouble doesn't seem to end any time soon.

In a shocking turn of events, the South Western Railway (SWR) using the Railway Protection Force stopped the BMRCL work at Jakkarayankere on the Metro Reach 3 near Swastik station.

Railway authorities remove illegal encroachment at the
Swastik Metro station site in the city yesterday

The Railways have blamed the BMRCL for colluding with land grabbers and encroaching upon their land. The Metro officials have blamed the Railways for unnecessarily stalling the work.

'Pay Up First'
The Railway authorities justified the move claiming the stalling work was  the only option to save government land from land-grabbers.

"In order to cooperate with Bangalore Metro, we had given them the land.

Later, we discovered that our land was being used by private building developers and so we had no choice but to stop the encroachment of land near the Swastik Metro station adjacent to Jakkarayankere," said Sudhanshu Mani, Divisional Railway Manager, SWR.

The Metro has now taken the legal route to solve the issue. "The Bangalore Metro along with private builders have filed a case against the Railways for obstructing their work," added Mani.

Senior officials from the Railways also revealed that they were forced to take this stern action as the Metro has failed to clear their dues too.

"They don't have the permission from the railway board for the acquisition of the land and further they have not cleared the full-payment of the leased land," he said.

Accusing the Railways of non-cooperation, the Metro has claimed that it has paid the Railways for the leased land and will now approach the High Power Committee to resolve the issue.

"By stopping the work, they have seriously jeopardized the progress of the Reach 3, which is scheduled for commissioning in December 2012," said PN Nayak, BMRCL, Chief Engineer.

The BMRCL has further blamed the Railways for not following protocol. "They could have written a letter first, before taking such an action.
We have stopped all work in the area, till the Railway explains itself before the High Power Committee," added Nayak.

The Divisional Railway Manager has further hit out against the Metro claiming that the rail corporation body has completely lost the plot. 

"If we were trying to jeopardise the project, we could have stopped the work at Yeshwantpur or at MG Railway Colony projects both are railway property.

We have stopped work only on the Swatik station, because we found that land grabbers have taken over the government property," said S Mani.

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