Lessons learnt from Phase I will come in handy for II, State tells PM

CS apprises Modi of hurdles to Metro rail through video conferencing

Lessons learnt from Phase I will come in handy for II, State tells PM

In a first-of-its-kind interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video-conferencing, Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee and Pradeep Singh Kharola, Managing Director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), apprised him about the progress of Namma Metro project on Wednesday.

The video-conferencing, which was held as part of the review exercise, began in the afternoon and the chief secretary explained to the prime minister reasons for delay in completion of Phase I of Namma Metro.

Admitting that there had been a delay of two years in completing Phase I, Kaushik Mukherjee informed the prime minister that land acquisition became a problem as it was underestimated, resulting in litigations.

He said that there were some delays in awarding contracts for the interchange station at Majestic, which is the most crucial part of phase I. Thirdly, tunnelling work was the toughest part due to terrain and that took the longest time to complete.
 Nevertheless, he assured the prime minister that BMRCL had learnt from its mistakes and experiences of Phase I and would be careful in not repeating the follies in Phase II. He informed Modi that by 2020, the Phase II of the Namma Metro project would be completed.

“Already, the first tender has been awarded and land acquisition for Phase II will begin from next month. By April 2016, it will be completed,” Mukherjee told the Prime Minister.

 Later, the chief secretary told mediapersons that the prime minister expressed satisfaction with the project. Mukherjee said that it was a very good initiative by the prime minister to have connected with the chief secretaries from various states.
Mukherjee said that for Phase II, funds had been approved to the tune of Rs 26,800 crore. Final negotiations were being carried out to raise funds from a French financing agency and KfW, a development bank owned by the German government.

 He informed Modi that BMRCL was looking at raising funds close to Rs 1,500 crore by increasing Floor Space Index (FSI) or Floor Area Ratio (FAR), through private builders for Phase II.

Kharola said, “The interaction went very well and the prime minister was satisfied and inquired about Phase II. The chief secretary interacted with Modi and apprised him of the project status and all other aspects,” he added.

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