Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Metro is set to double because of slow pace of work

Metro is set to double because of slow pace of work, escalating cost due to rising inflation, and global economic slowdown besides an addition of 8.8 km to the original plan.
As per the original estimated cost of the phase one metro was pegged at Rs 6,395 crore. Now the revised estimated price has crossed Rs 12,000 crore, sources in the infrastructure department told Express.
The department with officials of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited is set to meet in the second week of October to finalise the revised estimates.
Of the Rs 6,395 crore, the state and the Centre are contributing 15 per cent each which would come to around Rs 1,904.5 crore while the rest of the money has to be raised from financial institutions.
Now with doubling of the estimated cost and considering the poor fiscal position of the governments, both Centre and the state may not be in a position to increase their contributions to match the revised estimates. Sources said that delay in execution of work, mainly due to litigations and protests by activists, was one of the prime reason for the cost escalation.
At a recent interaction with media persons, Vishwanath, head of the Karnataka Task Force on Quality in Public Works, Namma Metro is already late by six months. Officials in the department said that going by the present speed the project may be further delayed. “Factoring all these things, the estimates have been revised,’’ the official said.
Apart from the delay, the cost of Metro is likely to go up due to rising inflation and the yet-to-recover global economic slowdown. “It was a different situation a few months ago when steel and other raw materials were cheaper due to a dip in the global market and expected rise in interest rates. But today, the prices have gone up,’’ they said.
Added to this, an extension of the phase one by 8.8 km has added another Rs 1,763 crore. The newly added stretch includes 3.2 km from RV Road to Puttenahalli and 5.6 km from Yeshwantpur to Hesarghatta cross in the both in the North-South Corridor.

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