Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bad news No light at end of Metro tunnel

Bad news No light at end of Metro tunnel

BMRCL md n sivasailam says local engineers are not good enough to handle underground metro work

Senthalir S. Bangalore



For all those wondering why the Namma Metro's 9-km underground segment is behind schedule, here's the answer.
It is the lack of technical expertise to assess and implement cutting edge technology involved in Metro works that has pushed the deadline six-and-a-half months behind schedule, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) MD N Sivasailam said at the Engineers' Day function, organised by the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers on Tuesday.
He said the project badly needs civil engineers who have greater understanding of tooling, when it comes to Metro construction. "Most of the engineers for the underground Metro work have to be brought from abroad. It's the contractors' job," he explained.
The import of civil engineers would be required as Indian engineers will have to be trained for state-of-the-art technologies needed for underground sections of the Metro project.
However, when asked whether efforts are on to train local engineers to be familiar with high-end tools required for the underground work, Sivasailam said that the responsibility did not lie with the BMRCL.
The underground work for the Metro rail project began a few weeks ago with pre-works like alternative roads, utility shifting, and tree removal, among others.
But experts say that the real work like tunnelling would take some more time, mainly because the expertise needed would have to be procured from abroad.
Tunnelling would require boring machines to carve out space without disturbing the surface above. According to BMRCL sources, these machines will bore about 15 metres a day. The 9-km underground portion is expected to cost over Rs1,200 crore.

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