Bangalore: It is official now, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) will have to stop work from March 13 on the Majestic stretch, if the South Western Railways (SWR) does not give them permission, clarified Sivasailam, Managing Director, BMRCL.
Speaking to Express, Sivasailam said that they are left with no other option, but to stall the work, since the SWR has demanded that the outstanding amount on the land be paid to them.
"We will be left with no other option, but to stop work on the stretch. The total cost of the land was Rs 219 crore. We had earlier paid them Rs 94 crore. The outstanding amount now is Rs 125 crore," Sivasailam said.
The South Western Railways (SWR), has, however, made room for discussions, claiming that they are willing to discuss the matter about the accounts.
But SWR maintained that there is no fault with their accounts.
"If the BMRCL has any doubt about the calculations, we can sit across the table and set the accounts right. Our officials have made correct calculations of the amount that is due and there is no ambiguity about it," clarified S Mani, Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore Division, South Western Railway (SWR). He further categorically stated that he was not aware of BMRCL’s inability to make the payment.
The BMRCL had to pay this licence fee to continue tunnelling work on Platform Road as a part of the North-South corridor underground project.
According to the Union Ministry of Urban Development, the tunnelled part is not categorised under permanent acquisition of the land, but merely a cut and cover method. Hence according to the ministry, the amount payable to the SWR is not more than Rs 44 crore. However, the SWR has claimed that `219 crore is payable.
"To settle this matter, the ministry had referred the case to the Empowered Committee two weeks ago," Sivasailam added.
The BMRCL is now looking forward to the Union government to solve the matter, so work can continue on the stretch. However, with this standoff proving to be fatal for the cause of Bangalore’s infrastructure, it now seems like the BMRCL has yet another excuse for delaying the work.
Meanwhile, the lack of proper communication by the BMRCL authorities with the media is proving to be another problem as the official spokesperson, the public relations officer and other officials seldom have any responses to queries.