Saturday, November 21, 2009

MESSY TIMES FOR MAJESTIC

MESSY TIMES FOR MAJESTIC
Underground Metro Work To Begin After 3 Months. Sewage System May Be Hit
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: Three months may go by before the Metro begins tunnelling underground. Work, already delayed by almost three months, is now facing a glitch due to high quotations in one of the tenders.
This apart, there are challenges ahead in the more congested areas of Majestic, Chickpet and City Market area. But BMRC MD N Sivasailam is confident of meeting the July-September 2012 deadline for the overall project.
“We may be three months late now, but we will make up. The success of Metro will come from its overall network. Even the first 7 km of the Metro stretch will not help one judge the entire network,’’ he said at an interactive meeting with FKCCI members here on Friday.
After Reach 1, work should be completed on the northern line from June to September 2011. The southern and western stretches of Metro will also be ready by September 2011, but they are likely to be opened last, as they are linked to the underground stretch, he said.
The challenges apart, land acquisition has been smooth as butter, with not a single case challenging the valuation, and an increasing number of contracts being acquired by locals — the latest being the Rs 120 crore contract for 176 escalators.
Sivasailam also clarified other questions raised about the project:
TREES CUT FOR METRO
An act incidental to such development projects. A total of 1,000 trees will be cut overall for the underground stretches. “However, we will be able to restore almost 90% of them soon.”
COST ESCALATION?
It’s wrong to say the project suffers from it. It’s more an effect of rising prices — quite natural to see a change in what was proposed in the DPR way back in 2003 and implementing it in 2007 and completing it in 2012.
The overall cost of the project now — at Rs 12,000 crore — has also risen from the earlier sanctioned Rs 6,395 crore, due to the new extensions.
ESTIMATED REVENUE FROM METRO
The 42 km of Metro is estimated to earn Rs 550 crore annually, while the annual operational cost will be Rs 300-400 crore.
Almost 5% of the revenue will come from sources other than fare — a large portion through advertising, as it passes through the CBD.
A lot of funding also to come from TDRs that are being worked out with the BBMP. However, a concrete decision on going with property development like the Delhi Metro is not decided yet.
METRO CONNECTIVITY OR HSRL TO BIA?
Yes, there might be a Metro link to BIA. The pre-feasibility study on this is being done. However, it will not contradict or conflict the HSRL corridor. Both are separate.
PHASE II OF METRO
DPRs for this phase expected next month. Three-four lines are being considered for this. Here, we will be taking it from Hesarghatta cross to the Bangalore International Exhibition grounds. The important factor is that it will link a lot of business hubs like K R Puram, Electronic City and Whitefield. However, much of it depends on government approval.
IMPACT OF TUNNELLING ON BOREWELLS, DRINKING WATER AND SEWAGE LINES
An impact assessment study has already been done by IISc. The tunnel is going to be 5.6 m in diameter.
It might be challenging in areas like Chickpet where the water table is high. There might be some contamination in some areas, but potability will be restored within twothree months.
We are also working with BWSSB on some alternate arrangement for this period. The main problem with water lines is that about 60% of them are not traceable yet.

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