Saturday, November 21, 2009

47 per cent rise in cost of Metro work, says Sivasailam

47 per cent rise in cost of Metro work, says Sivasailam

Special Correspondent
Borewells in Chickpet to be capped during tunnelling operations


Rise in cost: A file photo of the Namma Metro work in progress in the city. The first phase is likely to cost Rs. 12,000 crore.
Bangalore: The first phase of the Namma Metro project is likely to cost about Rs. 12,000 crore when it is completed in 2012, N. Sivasailam, Managing Director, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL), said here on Friday.

Addressing members of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), he said the 47 per cent increase over the sanctioned cost of Rs. 8,170 crore was “not due to time overruns”.

While the BMRCL is likely to earn revenue of about Rs. 550 crore annually from Phase 1 of the Namma Metro project, operating costs were likely to be about Rs. 350 to Rs. 450 crore. Only five per cent of the revenue was expected from merchandising at its stations, Mr. Sivasailam said. BMRCL was also likely to provide wi-fi connectivity across its network, he added.

Responding to a question on the disruption of water supply to residents when the BMRCL commences tunnelling operations, Mr. Sivasailam admitted that borewells in Chickpet might “need to be capped” during the operation. The BMRCL had “made alternative arrangements” with the BWSSB for supply of water to the residents. Water may not be potable for about three months after tunnelling was completed in the area, he warned. On fears about disruption of life after the start of tunnelling, Mr. Sivasailam said: “You will not even know it when it happens.” Admitting that the BMRCL Board found some of the quotations for contracts higher than normal, Mr. Sivasailam said that “unbundling” the contracts might result in lower costs. Referring to the increase in the cost of inputs, Mr. Sivasailam pointed out that while steel prices had increased by over threefold since the Detailed Project Report was finalised, the cost of cement had doubled since then.

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