Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Delay-hit Metro chugs along

Delay-hit Metro chugs along
As traffic-weary Bangaloreans prepare to welcome Namma Metro, the project appears to crawl in its journey to meet deadlines, says S Praveen Dhaneshkar

A year behind schedule, the city’s flagship “Namma Metro” project is slowly gathering pace to meet its operational deadline of December 2010 / January 2011. Cutting through the bustling commercial and residential neighbourhoods of the city, covering a total distance of 33 kms across a North-South and East-West corridor, the project is expected to substantially reduce vehicular traffic once it is operational.

However, Bangaloreans will have to endure months of hardship before the Metro dream becomes a reality. The project is a year behind the schedule on Reach 1, the original schedule for completion on M G Road was December 2009. In 2007 the BMRCL had announced that it would complete all works on M G Road in December, but it had to announce a fresh deadline after delays, such as land acquisition on CMH Road and the slow pace of construction, default in performance by Navayuga Engineering Ltd, the contractor who was awarded tender on this reach.

Deccan Herald takes a relook into the progress made on different reaches and vast corridors Namma Metro would traverse to offer seamless and faster connectivity to the traffic weary Bangalorean.

Work on the 7 km elevated section in Reach 1 (Byappanahalli to M G Road) that began in January 2007 is expected to be over in December 2010, while on Reaches 2, 3 and 4 (the full network) is expected to be commissioned by September/October 2012.

On Reach 1, viaduct works are underway on M G Road and foundation works are nearing completion in CMH Road. Works in the stretch between Halasuru police station and Trinity Circle has also started. The piers (concrete pillars) have come up in full length at 69 locations.

The casting of grider segments by the BMRCL is also progressing well, with 332 segments already cast out of the total 1929. Erection and testing of launching girders have also been completed on this reach by erecting four spans on M G Road (Trinity Circle towards Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium). Public sector Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) will be manufacturing the rolling stock (stainless steel coaches) for the project.

Namma Metro coaches

*Each train will consist of three coaches (2.88 m wide) to start with when commissioned. The train can accommodate a total of 1,000 persons. The coaches will be light weight modern coaches and will be later augmented to six - the carrying capacity of a six coach train will be 2,068 passengers. The coaches, with stainless steel shells will be air-conditioned and have self-closing automatic doors.

*The Bangalore Metro has been designed for a capacity of 40,000 PHPDT (Peak Hour Peak Direction Traffic). The number of passengers expected to travel on the metro everyday is estimated at 10.20 lakhs in 2011 and 16.10 lakhs in 2021.

*The frequency of the Metro trains will be every four minutes initially in 2010. This would increase to three minutes by 2021. The travel time from end to end on the East-West corridor will be 33 minutes, and on the North-South corridor it will be 28 minutes. The system is designed for a maximum train speed of 80 kmph.

Snapshot of Namma Metro progress

Reach 1: Contracts have also been awarded for construction of six elevated metro stations on this reach viz S V Road and Ulsoor at a cost of Rs 75.77 crores to IVRCL Infrastructure Ltd and, CMH Road and Byappanahalli at a cost of Rs 92.5 crores to IVRCL-CR 18G consortium. Meanwhile, construction of the metro depot at Byappanahalli has also begun in earnest at land on the erstwhile NGEF, with land formation work and boundary wall going on. Tenders for construction of metro stations on M G Road will also be awarded shortly.

Reach 2: On this Reach (Magadi Road to Mysore Road Terminal), BMRCL has begun road widening for traffic management between Magadi Road and Mysore Road terminal and entrusted works to Karnataka Land Army Corporation that is in progress. Demolition of structures/buildings are also underway with 98 percent of work completed.

Reach 3: Along this Reach (Swastik to Yeshwantpur), construction of via duct covering a length of 5100 meters, excluding the station area has begun at a cost of Rs 209 crores. BMRCL has also commenced shifting of utilities by respective civic departments from Rajajinagar station to Yeshwantpur Station on this reach.

Reach 4: On this Reach (K R Market to R V Road terminal), tenders have been awarded for design and construction of via-ducts to Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd at a cost of Rs 150.63 crores. Utility diversion of BSNL, BWSSB, BESCOM and KPTCL is also in progress, with trial trenching completed.

Long History of Metro

*Several Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) proposals for Bangalore have been in the pipeline for over 25 years.

In 1982, a study suggested that the MRTS should have a route length of 12.20 km and pegged the cost at Rs 239.15 crores.

*In 1983, the Metropolitan Transit Project, an organisation of Indian Railways, prepared a feasibility report for provision of suburban rail services on existing lines, a circular railway of 57.9 km, metro system on two corridors, in Phase-I 12.9 km from Rajajinagar to Jayanagar and in Phase - II 11.2 km from Hudson Circle to Krishnarajapuram. In 1988, a World Bank aided study was carried out by RITES and the study recommended a Commuter Rail System along with improvement of road transport system.

*Later, in 1994, the Bangalore Mass Rapid Transit Limited (BMRTL) was incorporated by the State government to implement the Mass Rapid Transit System. BMRTL in turn asked the IL and FS to carry out a feasibility study for LRT System on Public-Private Partnership. However, though the partner was selected, the project did not take off. Later, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in partnership with RITES prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Bangalore Metro Rail, Phase I in 2003 at the instance of the government. It proposed two double line corridors: East-West (EW) and North-South (NS) with a total length of 33 km.

*The Bangalore Metro Rail finally took shape with the Karnataka government clearing the project in March, 2005 and the Union government giving its approval in April, 2006. The BMRTL was then renamed as the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) as the project began in January 2007.

The facts

33 km

*Byappanahalli to Mysore Road 18.1 kms, Yeshwantpur to R V Road 14.9 kms

9.3 km

*North extension to Hesarghatta Cross by 5.6 kms, South Extension to Puttenahalli by 3.7 kms

6,395 cr

*Project cost in 2005 will escalate to more than Rs 8000 crore when completed in 2010


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