Centre's nod for Phase-II of Metro may take 6 months

BMRCLs hope for funds in budget could be derailed

Centre's nod for Phase-II of Metro may take 6 months

With Phase-II of Namma Metro being cleared by the State Cabinet on Tuesday, all that remains is for the Union Urban Development Ministry to give the go-ahead.

But the Centre’s nod is likely to take upto six months in coming. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) had hoped for this to happen before the next budget, so as to receive the required funding. But in the given circumstances, the clearance may take upto six months, according to B L Chavan, BMRCL spokesperson.

“We have to wait for the green signal. Till then, we cannot give any information regarding Phase-II. For allocation of funds during the budget, the clearance should happen before February, which is not going to happen,” said Chavan.

Asked if this could further delay the start of construction on Phase-II, Chavan said: “You can contact the State departments for more details on what and when things will happen. Our job was done long ago when we submitted the Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the State.”

Not much change
However, a few officials said on condition of anonymity that the four extensions and two new lines would be built as per the current Metro design and there would not be much change. Phase-I followed construction of stations at an average distance of 1.06 kilometre from each other. Chavan said this would continue to be followed. “How can we change that suddenly? The DPR will have to be followed strictly,” he said.

Asked if there were any changes recommended by the State Cabinet, Chavan said: “There will be no changes and the initial DPR will remain.”

He did not provide details about how long the underground stretch would be on Phase-II. But Prakash Mandoth, Chairman of the Infrastructure Committee of FKCCI, said: “There will be many areas where BMRCL goes underground. Phase-II is crucial for the success of Metro and convenience of people. It is only under Phase-II that Metro will pass through narrow, but heavily-crowded stretches of roads. In these areas, it will be impossible to go elevated.”

Action after approval
Prakash had written to Minister for Urban Development, Kamal Nath, on October 19 asking him to hasten the process of clearing Phase-II DPR to which the minister replied on October 22 saying: “As soon as it is approved by the State government, I shall take action on it. Till the State sends it across, I cannot do much.”

Experts said Phase-II has extensions that should have actually been part of Phase-I, as it will connect some of the most important locations like Whitefield and Electronics City.

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