Sunday, July 04, 2010

Metro to be ready only by July 2011

Metro to be ready only by July 2011
Just 52 per cent of Reach 1 between Byappanahalli and M G Road has been completed so far
Manasi Paresh Kumar & Deepthi M R

If you were planning to commute by Metro Rail this year-end, then here’s some disappointing news. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is now contemplating a six-month delay in the project. BMRCL insiders say the project may not be ready until July 2011.
A senior official from the Infrastructure department, who sought anonymity, confirmed that the seven kilometre stretch that constitutes Reach I between Byappanahalli and M G Road is way too far from completion to meet the December 2010 deadline announced by BMRCL MD N Sivasilam. “We have just about finished dealing with all the legal problems of land acquisition. We had to deal with legal hurdles to clear the NGEF factory land which is required for the project,” he said.
Sivasailam however rubbished this. There will be no delay. It was publicly announced by the chief minister after many inspections that metro rail will be operational as per scheduled. What more do you want than the assurance from the CM and the MD of BMRCL, he said.
When the timeframe for the metro rail project was first drawn in March 2006, the consultants from Delhi Metro envisaged a five-year period for the first leg to become operational. The original deadline for Reach I stretch was March 2010. By the end of June, only 52 per cent of the work on this stretch has been completed. None of the stations or depots are ready yet. “While the structure has come up, nitty gritty like electrical and other construction details will take time,” the official said. Even as Reach 1 is delayed, all is not well with Reach II. It’s facing serious financial problems.
According to sources, BMRCL will suffer a loss of Rs 60 lakh if the project is delayed by three months. Yashwant Chavan, Chief PRO, BMRCL, revealed that coaches will arrive by the end of October and they will be tested by Novemberend. “They will surely be on trial run by the year-end,” he said.


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