Bengaluru: Forest department denies permission for Metro depot at Whitefield too

BENGALURU: The Forest Department, after refusing permission to BMRCL to construct a Metro Rail depot on Kanakapura Road (Green Line), has denied permission for the Purple Line extension to Whitefield too.

The Forest Department had raised objection, saying that the proposed depots fall on the elephant corridor. Acquiring forest land in Kadugodi is proving difficult for the BMRCL, which had initially planned to purchase 67 acres of private land near Bhadra Tiger Reserve in lieu of the forest land at Kadugodi. But the plan has been dropped. 

BMRCL sources told Deccan Chronicle that they are yet to get 150 acres of land to build five depots. While some of these lands are under litigation, acquiring even those that belong to various government departments too is becoming difficult, they said.

“No plan will be cancelled. Either the project will be delayed or shifted to another place. Earlier in the Kanakapura Road depot plan, there was a condition on land swap. We were expected to construct a free elephant movement underpass to connect the existing elephant corridor to avoid man-elephant conflict. So the design work is under progress. In Kadugodi, landowners are quoting exorbitant prices. They want approximately Rs 1 crore per acre. We are searching for another piece of land. We will work as per the requirement of the forest department," a senior BMRCL official said.

The source said that after the plan to acquire land near Bhadra Tiger Reserve fell through, the forest department suggested the revenue land available near Madapatna forest. “We have already written to the deputy commissioner to facilitate the transfer of land,” the source said.  

BMRCL is planning five train maintenance depots, with stabling lines and inspection bays at Whitefield (on the eastern side of the Purple Line), Anjanapura on the western side of Kanakapura Road (the southern end of the Green Line), Hebbagodi (RV Road-Bommasandra line), Kothanur (Gottigere-Nagawara line) and Challaghatta in Kengeri (the western side of the Purple Line). All of them are part of the 72-km Phase II network, which consists of four extensions of existing lines and two new stretches. BMRCL plans to augment the capacity of the existing depot at Peenya. Byyappanahalli will serve as a depot for the Phase II (A) Outer Ring Road line.

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