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In a fine gesture of inter-state cooperation, Tamil Nadu and the Karnataka government are set to work together to extend the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation line up to Hosur which is 8.8 kilometres into the political border of Tamil Nadu. A proposal sent by the Krishnagiri MP Dr A Chellakumar to bring the Namma Metro to Tamil Nadu has been immediately acted upon by the Chief Minister of Karnataka. The Tamil Nadu government has been permitted by Karnataka to conduct the survey to this effect.

Following the ascent of the government of Karnataka, the BMRCL had sent the proposal to the union urban development ministry. On March 21, the urban development ministry convened a meeting in Pune in Maharasthra about the feasibility of the extension of the line from Bommasandra in Karnataka to Hosur in Tamil Nadu – a distance of 20.5 kilometres. 8.8 kilometres of this stretch falls under Tamil Nadu political jurisdiction and 11.7 kilometres in Karnataka.

In its observation of the urban development ministry, the BMRCL has outlined the investment, technical details and profit-sharing model. In a letter the chief minister of Karnataka has approved the proposal, noting that “the Tamil Nadu government can conduct the study for the line between Bommasandra and Hosur.” -Anjum Parwez, managing director of the BMRCL.

“This is the dream project for thousands of people in Hosur, who regularly commute to work to Bengaluru. If the project is implemented, it will benefit people of both States socially and economically,” MP of Krishnagiri Dr A Chellakumar.

“This is the dream project for thousands of people in Hosur, who regularly commute to work to Bengaluru. If the project is implemented, it will benefit people of both States socially and economically,” MP of Krishnagiri Dr A Chellakumar.

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Following the letter of Dr Chellakumar, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai permitted the Tamil Nadu government to take up a study on the pros and cons of the proposals and arrive at interstate modalities to draw a line of estimation. This is one of the first interstate metro projects in India which will transform the Bommasandra-Hosur stretch into an infra corridor.

A boon for Hosur
In her budget speech, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had asked the Government of Tamil Nadu to plan out a defence corridor connecting Kattupalli port, Chennai, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Hosur and Bengaluru. Political parties in power in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states have looked beyond the political boundaries in this project. Opposition leader in Karnataka Assembly S Siddaramiah had also written a letter to the Chief Minister  Basavaraja Bommai seeking his involvement in the prestigious project that will bring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka closer not only for commercial purposes but also socially and economically.

According to the BMRCL officials, when completed, the travel between Bommasandra and Hosur will be covered in just 20 minutes. Since it is an interstate route and fully built on elevated platforms the delay aspect was zero and economy and safety-wise the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu line will be a winner in all aspects. Karnataka’s government has also stated that it wants coordination between the two states in the form of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed to share construction and operation costs. Presently State Transport services of both states take not less than 50 minutes depending on the traffic conditions.

“It should also be studied how the central metro acts would be extended to this region, which is in two neighbouring states, as these acts can be extended to a metropolitan city or metropolitan area in consultation with state governments,” BMRCL writes in a letter dated May 23.

The proposed metro line will pass through one of the most potential infra and IT corridors in the country. IT parks, transport hubs, industrial estates, large housing colonies, satellite towns and manufacturing hubs.

Traffic density indicates Metro feasibility
According to the presently available transport survey the Karnataka Road Transport Corporation, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation (TNSRTC) together operate over 420 schedules every day between Bengaluru and Hosur with 70 per cent occupancy of each vehicle on a typical day barring Sundays and general holidays. According to the vehicular density, surveys conducted by the Road Transport Authority of both states, an average of 75 vehicles pass through the survey point every minute out of which 60 per cent of them are passenger car units. This average is comparable to the Eastern Express Highway between Mumbai and Pune. The authorities clarify that this density of traffic may not exactly be between Bengaluru and Hosur but it is between Bengaluru and Chennai cities.

Hosur will become the first tier III city in India to boast a metro railway while many tier-II cities are yet to get their metro railways.

The Karnataka government had previously planned to make travel easier to Hosur by connecting the industrial city to Bengaluru’s upcoming suburban rail project. Will that project also run parallel with the extension of the Bommasandra-Hosur Metro line? When asked, officials in the South Eastern railways clarified that the suburban railway was a different project altogether and it is comparable to only Chennai or Mumbai suburban railway systems when it is completed.

A satellite town of Bengaluru?
The development bug has already bitten Hosur. The Tamil Nadu government has taken up several housing and urban development projects. Students and office-going people use relatively cheaper housing at Hosur and industries in and around Hosur including the commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland has a regular shuttle for its employees between Bengaluru and Hosur ferrying employees. The new metro line between the two cities will spur new developmental activities. Bringing the Bengaluru Metro to Tamil Nadu is a win-win for all sides.

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