Cost escalation cause for concern

Green activists to stage protest in City on today

underway Works on Namma Metro project are in progress in Indiranagar on Friday. KPN

Vinay Sreenivasa of Hasiru Usiru said the past couple of months have seen several questions being raised about the Bangalore Metro project with a series of accidents occurred on its construction sites, hundreds of trees being cut, more shops and houses being demolished.

The huge cost escalation of 100 per cent, even before the project is half done has gone unquestioned. The project was initially estimated to cost 5,800 crore, then Rs 6,396 crore and now, cost Rs 11,500 crore, according to BMRCL Managing Director N Sivasailam.

If the cost has escalated by such a huge margin, even before a single reach is completed, (Bangalore Metro has a total of 4 reaches to be completed), one shudders to think of the cost when the entire Phase I is complete. What causes further concern is that this amount is just for Phase I, at 42 km length, said Sreenivasa.

Fund raising

The activists, quoting N Sivasailam’s statement, said that Phase II of the project, expected to be 125 km, would result in costing upward of minimum Rs 45,000 crore, without accounting for inflation.

“With 70 per cent of the project being funded through debt, one wonders who will repay the loans - the people of Bangalore or the whole State - and how these funds are raised?” questioned Sreenivasa. The campaign is being held to create awareness among the public.

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