After several delays, the work on the underground stretch of the Phase I of Namma Metro has gained momentum.
While the underground tunnelling work for a distance of 450 metres between Chikpet and City Market is nearing completion, and in all likelihood will be completed by February 2014.
The digging work between Majestic Station and Chikpet station, measuring 700 meters, is likely to be finished by August 2014.
If the officials are to be believed, entire tunnelling work pertaining to the seven underground stations in the first phase will be completed by August next year.
According to BMRCL MD Pradeep Singh Kharola, “All the stations in the underground stretch of the East-West corridor are nearing completion.
About 74 per cent of the work on the Cubbon Park station has been completed while it is 80 per cent for Vidhana Soudha station and 86 per cent and 89 per cent respectively for Sir M Visvesvaraya station and City Metro station.”
State Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundurao, Bangalore South MP Ananth Kumar and Mayor Sathyanarayana among others, joined by BMRCL officials and inspected the status of Metro works on the underground stretch.
MP Ananth Kumar and others took a trip to a 450-metre long tunnel dug up for the City Metro station.
After the underground experience, Ananth Kumar said that the High speed Railway Line (HSRL) is actually not a viable solution for reaching the Bengaluru International Airport.
After the commissioning of the Phase II, Metro will give the people the multi-pointed access which is the need of the hour.
The BMRCL has assured that by March 2015, entire Phase I will be commissioned including the seven underground stations. Once the Metro line is commissioned on the BIA, the total ridership will go up to 10 lakh.
“The technology being used here for digging up the tunnels is far ahead of what was used in Delhi and given the terrain here, it’s a diligent task to dig underground with precision,” Transport Minister Reddy said, while appreciating the work done by BMRCL.
The underground lines are 15-meter deep and the engineers did encounter the problem of water seepage. A BMRCL official said, “We have laid a membrane of PVC on the ground and have done water proofing of the ground so that water seepage problem is taken care of well.” The total length of underground stretch on the North-South corridor is approximately 3.67 km and includes about 2.5 km of twin tunnels, 495 metre of ramps, 240 meter of cut-and-cover tunnel and two underground stations.
Similarly, the length of the East-West corridor is 4.5 km, which includes around 2.5 km of twin tunnels, 468 m of ramps, 438 metre of cut-and-cover tunnel and four underground stations.
Overall, 85 per cent of the work is completed on the East-West corridor, where 91 per cent of the tunnelling work is finished. On the North- South corridor only 21 per cent of the work is completed and just 38 per cent tunnelling work is done.