Tuesday, March 02, 2010

UG corridor to delay Phase - I commissioning of Metro

UG corridor to delay Phase - I commissioning of Metro
Bangalore: Mar 1, DHNS

Hopefully, Bangaloreans would get a new year gift of having one stretch (Reach-1) of the ‘Namma Metro’ project from Byappanahalli to Chinnaswami Cricket Stadium being operational in December this year or January 2011, said Dr M Ramachandran, chairman of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) on Monday.

Briefing mediapersons here, Dr Ramachandran, who is also secretary to the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MuD) said that except for the underground (UG) work that is expected to begin by the end of this month, Phase-1 of the project will not be complete in 2012.

“Our priority is to have the Metro operational and running, without completion of the UG corridor. Taking into account the UG part, we expect it to stretch into 2013. The underground corridor per se will take time. Ideally, we should have totally focussed on the UG part right from the beginning. The tender process has always been so complicated, primarily due to cost factor. So, it was decided to do a unbundling of tenders.

It gave us (BMRCL) certain advantages, provided opportunities to more participants and gave competition” Dr Ramachandran said.

Explaining that the deadline for completion of the project on Reach-3 is September 2011, the chairman to BMRCL emphasised that work on Reach-2 and 4 are entirely dependent on completion of the UG corridor. Currently, the BMRCL has awarded tenders pertaining to UG-2 (East West corridor) from Minsk Square/Cricket Stadium to Magadi Road at a cost of Rs 993 crore.
It is expected to finalise and award UG-1 (North-South corridor) from Swastik to K R Road any time soon.

Recruitment of loco-pilots
On the issue of recruitment of trained manpower viz, loco-pilots, Dr Ramachandran explained that the idea is to train them (drivers) during the next five to six months so that they are readily available by November 2010. “Metro is not a employment generating venture. Recruitment process for drivers will begin shortly. The ratio of employment will be 40 persons/km, a standard broadly accepted by Metro projects, across the country, including the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRCL). We plan to train freshers and recruit loco-pilots. They will be imparted training by DMRCL” he added. Elaborating on the safety aspects of the project, Dr Ramachandran who is also chairman to DMRC said at present, the Commissioner for Railway Safety is also commissioner for Metro safety too and stated that it was thought at one point to have a commissioner exclusively for Metro safety by the Centre. “It will have to be pursued again, in view of more Metro projects coming across the country” he observed.
The DMRCL that has been appointed as prime consultants to the Bangalore Metro project, will soon station 10 personnel from New Delhi, in addition to the General Consultants (GC) to oversee project implementation progress. One official has already been deputed to BMRCL.

Earlier, on Monday, the chairman to BMRCL paid a visit and inspected all the four Reaches of the project and expressed his satisfaction with the progress of project.

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