Chief minister sets March 2015 deadline for Metro Phase 1

Chief minister sets March 2015 deadline for Metro Phase 1

Expect the entire Phase 1 of the Namma Metro network to be commissioned by March 2015, and the 72.1-km second phase to be operational within the next five years. 

This is the target set by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, as he formally laid the foundation stone for the Phase II here on Friday. 

Like the launch of the Sampige Road - Peenya Industry Area green Metro line, the Phase II ceremony was also plagued by a three-hour delay by which time the gathering had come down to 500. Addressing the small gathering in a stadium that can accommodate 40,000, the chief minister apologised for the delay, attributing it to an important function in Wadi taluk of Gulbarga. He then quickly completed the formalities and announced that the Phase 1 too would be completed in a year since only 25 km of work remained. 

Cost-sharing formula

Siddaramaiah said the Union Cabinet had recently cleared the Phase II of the project allocating a budget of Rs 26,905 crore. “The Centre will chip in 20 per cent of the cost while 45 per cent of the funds will be raised from other agencies,” he said.

The objective is to commission the second phase within five years from now. “Over 1.5 lakh passengers will utilise the services of the Namma Metro everyday in the newly opened section. This will substantially reduce the traffic congestion on the roads,” Siddaramaiah said. To ensure that autorickshaw drivers do not lose out on their business, he said: “I will make sure that the interest of the autorickshaw drivers is taken care of”. The chief minister also thanked the French and Japanese authorities for their support and financial assistance for this project.

Indicating that the land acquisition for the second phase will be a challenge, a BMRCL handout had this to say: “Since land is a scarce commodity, every effort has been made to keep the land requirement to the barest minimum and acquisition of private property has been kept minimal. Land is mainly required for route alignment, station buildings, platforms, entry / exit structures, traffic integration, power sub-stations, repair and maintenance depot.”

Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, State ministers including Ramalinga Reddy, Roshan Baig, K J George, H K Patil and others were present on the occasion. Utter chaos prevailed as hundreds of people got inside the three-coach train, much more than its carrying capacity of 975 passengers. A separate train was arranged for the chief minister and other dignitaries.
JICA aid for metro project

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has extended Official Development Assistance Loan (ODA) to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for construction of Bangalore Metro. 

The first loan agreement for the Bangalore Metro project was signed in March 2006 with a loan amount of 44,704 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs 2,700 crore), followed by second loan agreement signed in June 2011 with a loan amount of 19,832 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs 1,200 crore). The transport sector accounts for 49 per cent of the assistance provided by JICA to India between 2003 and 2012. Within this sector, metros accounts for the largest share (77 pc), followed by railways (12 pc), roads (10 pc), and ports (one pc). 

Special counters for trip ticket holders

BMRCL has opened special counters at metro stations of Reach-1 (MG Road to Baiyyappanahalli) with effect from March 1. This is to facilitate revalidation of the trip tickets (Sanchar 10, 40, 50 and 100) in smart cards, consequent to the opening of the Sampige Road to Peenya Industry section. Passengers travelling with trip tickets are required to approach these counters before using the tickets.

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