The much-delayed Namma Metro of Bengaluru city is yet to claim completion of its first phase ushered in 11 years ago in 2006 as delays and ill-planned construction obstacles plagued the project, which enters the final phase of track inspections this week.
The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) today told the media that inspection on 12-km stretch from Sampige Road to Yelachanahalli Road on the Green line of the Phase 1 will be conducted in the next four days.
“The inspection will last for about 4 days. Once that is complete, we will see if any changes or deficiency will come out and rectify accordingly,” said Vasanth Rao, spokesperson for the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corp. Ltd (BMRCL).
The mandatory inspection includes checking the line, signalling, traction and safety, before giving the nod for making the last stretch of Phase 1 operational, which may take another month. The project, though completed four years ago, was delayed due to the central connecting underground phase grounded for over a year.
Currently, all the three other reaches of Phase 1 have been operational, the last one connecting Byappanahalli to Mysuru Road was thrown open to the public from April 2016. The remaining section on green line to connect the southern part of the city was delayed for over two years mainly due to the underground work delay in the Central Market area in tunnel boring of 9-km stretch.
The cost,meanwhile, has ballooned into more than double from what was actually planned in 2006 as Rs. 6,395 crore project. It has cost the tax payer Rs.14,200 crore in total, adding Rs.7,195 crore or Rs.330 crore per km.
Once given the green signal, the entire Phase 1 of Namma Metro of Bengaluru Metro Rail will have 43 km line catering about 4 to 5 lakh of the total 1 crore population of the city, which growing far more rapidly than envisioned a decade ago. Now Bengluru has 800-square km stretch and 65 lakh vehicles which are congesting the traffic and derailing the city’s infrastructure at the dawn of every day, irrespective of holidays or summer vacations.
Though BMRCL has commenced work on Phase 2 to stretch the Namma Metro to another 30-km, that can cater already crowded zones such as White Field, Electronic City and Kanakapura Road, the answer to perennial road blocks on Bengaluru remains a nightmare for another decade.