Saturday, December 27, 2008

'Namma Metro' fails to make a mark

'Namma Metro' fails to make a mark

The much hyped ‘Namma Metro’, a Rs 6,395 crore mass transit project, made out as a panacea for commuting woes seemed to just chug-along on the seven km Reach 1 (Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium to Byappanahalli) in 2008.Whether the metro rail will be up and running by December 2010 is a big question. Time alone will tell if the assurances given by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) stand true.

BMRCL hit the news in 2008 for its delays, litigations against the alignment, hinderance in acquisition of property and tardy progress on Reach 1. Navayuga Engineering Limited, the contractor was even blamed by the corporation for not being able to carry out such massive projects in adherance to deadlines, a sentiment that was also echoed by Dr M Ramachandran, Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development (MuD) in New Delhi.
The project cost could also escalate to Rs 8,500 crore when the MuD, revises the estimates last made in April 2005.

The only visible work seemed to be the pre-fabricated viaduct foundation construction M G Road, that is nearing completion , with financial and evaluation of tenders for construction of six metro stations and rolling stock in its final stages and work on the remaining reaches, including the underground stretch (33 km in total) expected to begin in March/April 2009.

Land acquisition in final stages, Meanwhile, the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has completed about 80 percent of land acquisition process on Reach 1 and in Reaches 2 (Magadi Road-Mysore Road Terminal) and awarded compensation to the tune of Rs 250 crore upto December 2008, after issuance of final notification. The KIADB is expected to complete this entire process by July 2009 on the remaining stretches, viz Reach 3 (Swastik to Yeshwantpur) and Reach 4 (K R Market to R V Road Terminal).

Prelimnary notification for the extended North-South corridors of ‘Namma Metro’, i e Yeshwantpur to Peenya (5.6 km) and R V Road to Jaraganahalli (3.1 km) has also been issued.

BMTC highlights

* Major infrastructure projects undertaken by BMTC, viz construction of eight TTMC’s (Traffic and Transit Management Centres) at a cost of Rs 412.36 crores under the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) scheme are expected to gather steam in 2009.

* Though the CTTP had suggested construction of 45 TTMC’s, currently only 10 have been taken up. The pilot project at Jayanagar , constructed at a cost of Rs 12.90 crores is expected to be completed by March/April 2009.

* The 10 TTMC’s on BMTC’s priority are Vijaynagar, Banashankari, Koramangala, Shantinagar, ITPL (Whitefield), Kengeri, Bannerughatta, Yeshwantpur and Domlur.

* Construction of a Multi-Modal Transit Centre (MMTC), at the Kempegowda Bus Station, originally envisaged in 2005 at a cost of Rs 1000 crore is also expected to commence in March/April 2009.

M i l e s t o n e s

February 2

Karnataka’s luxury showpiece, `The Golden Chariot’, (a Karnataka State Tourism Department venture) was flagged off from Yeshwantpur by President Pratibha Patil. It aims at showcasing the beauty of the State to the world.

April 31

The opening of an air-conditioned Passenger Reservation System at Cantonment railway station is a real boon to the public. This token-based booking system has earned fulsome appreciation from all.

May 24

As BIA completed 7 months of commercial operations in December,woes continue to haunt the airport as the joint house committee, probing into alleged lapses by the airport promotors is yet to submit its

The closure of the HAL airport on May 24 raised a storm in 2008 from those advocating a ‘Two Airport’ concept. However, BIAL remained adamant citing the signing of the concessional agreement allowing it the monopoly of operating an airport in Bangalore.


Out of 42 km of the Metro corridor, 8.8 km will be laid underground. In the East-West corridor 4.9 km will be below ground while it will be 3.9 km in the North-South corridor. BMRCL hopes to award tenders by Feb 15, 2009 with construction to begin by April 15.


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