Namma Metro Under Scanner: HC orders central government to appoint high-ranking officer to check if BMRCL has complied with rules of MoUs

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BENGALURU: The high court on Thursday directed the Centre to appoint a higher-ranking officer to inspect whether BMRCL has complied with terms of the memorandums of understating (MOUs) pertaining to Phases 1 and 2 of the Namma Metro project.

Acting on a PIL filed by DT Devare and Bangalore Environment Trust, a division bench headed by chief justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka also directed the central government to specify whether the Metro policy envisaged is enforceable or not.

The bench orally indicated that in case the policy and associated norms are found to be binding in nature and the project is not being implemented in accordance with them, the court will not hesitate to stop the ongoing Phase 2 project.

The petitioners have claimed that despite the agreement between the state and Centre with long-term perspectives for Bengaluru, the authorities are continuing with implementation of the Metro project without adhering to Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) and Integrated Traffic Ratio Rationalization Plan (ITRRP).

The petitioners have also cited example of authorities leaving out two important stretches, Marathahalli to Hosakerehalli and Iblur to Hebbal, due to the possibility of overlap with the elevated corridor project. According to them, a huge amount of public money is being wasted on ad-hoc and stopgap projects.

Sanction for Phase 1 was accorded on May 11, 2006 and a tripartite MOU was signed on December 24, 2010, as per which the state was under obligation to created an ITRRP or CMP. Phase 2 was approved on February 21, 2014 and an MOU was signed on February 24, 2017.

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