Metro Reach-1 likely to miss deadline
Plan not yet finalised for Plaza station on M G Road; Track laying completed only on 3.1 km stretch
The mock coach is all that Bangaloreans will have this New Year, as the work at the Reach-1 of Namma Metro from Byappanahalli to Chinnaswamy Stadium is likely to be delayed.
Going by the progress of work, experts believe that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) will only be able to commission the Reach-1 of the project on the East-West Corridor (6.7 km) by early next year. The big show-stopper for BMRCL is the second station on MG Road that is to come up where the iconic Plaza theatre once stood.
While this is still on the Corporation’s drawing boards, with just about 120 days left for the proposed commissioning, there are ample reasons to believe that the project may miss the deadline.
However, exuding confidence that the project will meet the deadline is BMRCL General Manager (Finance) U A Vasanth Rao.
Speaking to Deccan Herald he said: “I agree nothing has been finalised on the design of the second station on M G Road. However, we are confident that the project will be commissioned in time.”
M N Sreehari, advisor to the State government on infrastructure, traffic and transport, too believes that BMRCL could miss the deadline. “Building such a structure and equipping it with all the amenities required in a full-fledged station would take more than just three months,” he adds.
Should not be a problem
Though Vasanth Rao agreed that the actual structure of the second station may take even an year to complete, he opined that it will not affect the operation of Reach-1. “We’ll have the other station operating in full and are confident of completing the basic structure including the passage connecting the second station for operational purpose. Hence, there should be no problem in meeting the deadline.”
Chairman of the Quality Control Task Force set up by the State government, C S Vishwanath said whether the structure could be completed in three months or not would depend on its composition.
“If steel columns are used, the time required for construction can be considerably reduced, but if they want concrete columns, the duration will be longer,” he said.When asked about the composition of the structure Vasanth Rao said: “The design is yet to be finalised.”
Besides, the BMRCL also has other issues like track laying, installation of signalling equipment and also completion of the other stations. While about 62 per cent of the work on the stations is complete, the Corporation is confident of finishing the rest in time. So far, only about 3.1 km of the tracks have been laid on the 6.7 km stretch. The Corporation still has to lay about 10.3 km of rails on the stretch (double track).
The signalling work is also yet to commence as the equipment has not reached India. While experts believe that the installation of a full-fledged automated signalling system could take anywhere between three to four months, BMRCL which seems to be running out of time, seems confident.
Signalling equipment is being imported from France and Portugal, Vasanth Rao said, adding it is expected to arrive in a month’s time.