Sceptical about the progress

Sceptical about  the progress

The Bangalore Metro has become synonymous with delay. Despite the fact that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) has missed several deadlines, officials from the body are still making promises. But most people have lost faith in the system.

Metrolife interacts with civic experts and citizens to find out if the new government is going to bring in any positive change.

 MN Sreehari, advisor to the Government of Karnataka on traffic and infrastructure, says that the BMRCL is just misleading the public.

“They are good at giving dates, but don’t stick to them. They are just misleading people. The problem is that they are not working well. They handle issues very unprofessionally. Many of them may be qualified but not as much as those abroad,” he explains, adding that this is the state of affairs despite the availability of technology.

 “They are not transparent in their transactions and do not disclose anything to local experts or the press. They seem to work only on political pressure,” he criticises. Sreehari also laments that with so many delays, the amount of money being lost per day is huge.

“Since they are not able to do the work properly, it is better that they take a global tender and give it to those who are internationally renowned,” he says, adding that the BMRCL’s drawback is lack of proper planning. “They always start the work and then realise there are problems,” he explains.

V Ravichandar, chairman of Feedback Consulting, says that it will be a ‘pleasant surprise’ if things happen on time.

“Unfortunately, past records have shown that unexpected problems crop up and that does not give us hope that future projects will be on time. Citizens must be ready for delays,” he explains.

Kayomarz Bacha, a professional who uses the Metro extensively, has reconciled herself to the delay and feels that even though things may not have gone as planned, it’s better late than never.

“We are in the dark about the reasons for the delay. It might be the corruption associated with the government and lack of funding and resources that have contributed to it. But it is better that the facility comes up late rather than never,” says Kayomarz.

Prabha, a homemaker, adds that even with the new government, things are not going to change much. “It’s just a myth to think that the situation will drastically improve. I doubt that we’ll see much change,” she opines.

Phase 2

Phase 1 has seen several delays and the State government is keen to avoid the same with Phase 2.

However, the implementation of the project has been stalled as the BMRCL is yet to receive an official clearance from the Centre. The project spans over 72.1 km. Phase 2 of the Metro covers a span of 72.095 km and adds 61 stations to the network.

It extends from RV Road to Bommasandra, Gottigere to IIM-B to Nagavara, Byappanahalli to Whitefield, Mysore Road Terminal to Kengeri, Hesaraghatta Cross to Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) on Tumkur Road and Puttenahalli Cross to Anjanapura township.

BMRCL speaks

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Chief PRO BLY Chavan says, “In the coming year, we are trying to open the elevated reaches of the west and south corridors and the underground, thereby completing Phase 1 of the project.”

He adds that these kinds of projects, where construction has to be carried out in heavily-built areas, are not without problems. “With support and cooperation from all the agencies, these problems will be of minimal nature,” he states.

 He says that the testing of trains from Peenya Depot up to Yeshwanthpur Station began on June 10, 2013.

“From Sandal Soap Factory Station up to Sriramapura, system work like traction and signalling is under progress. Once this work is completed, the trains will be tested up to Srirampura and further up to Sampige Road in a phased manner,” he explains.

With regard to the completion of Phase 2, Chavan adds, “Any project of this nature requires a time period of 36 to 40 months for elevated and 60 to 66 months for underground, provided the full work front is available within six to eight months from the start of the work.”

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