High cost delaying Metro underground stretch works
Discussions on to bring down outlay that are considerably high
Work on the underground (UG) stretch of the ‘Namma Metro’ project, could only begin in the second week of December, with high costs now delaying award of tenders, pertaining to the underground corridor.
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) board that met here to finalise award of tenders for this stretch on the North-South and East-West (Swastik to K R Road and Cricket stadium to Magadi Road) corridor, has put on hold the decision/process to award tenders, pending further discussions with the contractors.
The BMRCL has been in the process of conducting financial evaluation of the underground stretch during the last three months, after tenders were floated.
Sources said the BMRCL board that met under the chairmanship of Dr M Ramachandran, Secretary to the Union Ministry of Urban Development decided to take a closer look at the increased costs quoted by the contractors. “We want to keep the costs down and ensure that it does not go way higher than costs estimated in the detailed project report (DPR). Discussions are on to bring down the costs, that are considerably high,” said sources.
The 8.822 km long UG stretch that is expected to go along Vidhana Soudha, Majestic and City Railway Station will involve extensive tunnelling work.
The BMRCL would be importing TBM (Tunnels Boring Machines) to carry out work. The UG work has been estimated to cost around Rs 3,000 crore, as per latest estimates.
The DPR of Phase-1 had stated the abstract civil engineering works-capital cost estimate at April 2003 price levels as Rs 627 crore (East-West and North-South) underground section corridors, while mentioning an additional Rs 294 crore for underground stations.
The total cost of the underground section was then pegged at Rs 2,581.4 crore for 11 km. This was worked out at a rate/unit of Rs 234.67 crore, with a provision of deduction for custom duty and works tax pegged at Rs 29.37 crore.
The BMRCL is presently in the process of construction of a diversion road in front of Vidhana Soudha and is expected to begin similar work on the High Court side of Dr B R Ambedkar Veedhi, following a nod from the High Court recently. This is being done as a prelude to earth excavation for the underground stretch.
East West corridor: Minsk Square, Vidhana Soudha, Central College, City Railway Station, and Majestic. North South corridor: Majestic, Chickpet and City Market.