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Forget Namma Metro Until April 2017 as ‘Big Delay” Gets CM Nod

Remember the cave in on a major road due to Namma Metro underground tunnel? Now that loopholes in design and poor timing and adherence to plans, Namma Metro project will be dealyed until April 2017 and this has come from Karnataka Chief Minister K. Siddaramaiah on Thursday.

The earlier plan to complete Namma Metro Phase I by November 1 has been given a pass now as the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) has accepted delay and extended the deadline to April 2017. After holding a review meeting at his home office, Siddaramaiah said, "Of the 42-km-long phase 1, work on just 15 metres is still pending. The 15 metres in question is part of the 4-km tunnel between Kempegowda Station and Chickpet. As the buildings in the area developed cracks, and due to incidents of cave-ins in at some points, there has been a delay in commissioning the project."

The CM said he has given a month-wise timetable to at least accomplish the project by the new target of April 2017. "I have set a month-wise timetable and directed officials to execute the work accordingly. Electrical work like the laying of tracks and connecting the grid, will be done by January-end and it will take two months for the line for inspection by railway officials for safety. Hence, it will be opened to the public in April," he said.

The latest hurdle is the slow pace of tunneling in Majestic area. Though the 8-km elevated Metro line between National College, Basavanagudi, and JP Nagar (Puttenahalli Cross) with 8 stations — National College, Lalbagh, South End Circle, Jayanagar, RV Road, Banashankari, JP Nagar and Puttenahalli Cross — is ready more than a year ago, the missing link to Peenya depot has delayed the entire North-South Corridor by few months as of March 2016 and now it is perennially put behind to April 2017, denoting the highly unusual delay in Metro project, which would escalate project cost and benefit the private contractors.

Just 4-km underground section between Sampige Road and KR Market being dug by Krishna is all the problem as the roads and structures above are caving in or cracking. The southbound Kaveri Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) had dug almost the entire 747 metres between Chickpet and Majestic stations.

After completing the 4-km stretch, it would take two months according to the present plan to begin service but adding a delay of another six months is likely, knowing the past record of BMRCL. Until then, the standalone elevated and empty Namma Metro stations between National College and Puttenahalli will greet you every day.

Further, raising hopes to the IT city about a metro service between Silk Board junction and KR Puram, Siddaramaiah said the BMRCL has come up with a metro service plan that will be accommodated in the Phase 2 project.

"We have taken up this as a Phase 2 (A) project. The 18-km stretch will be built at a cost of Rs3,500 crore on a priority basis. I have directed officials to submit a DPR by October 20. In two years’ time, it will be completed and help 10 lakh techies," the CM said amid uproar over Monday’s damage to the city and IT sector amounting to Rs.22,000 crore.

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