BMRCL chief defends delays, says east-west line will open by Mar

BMRCL chief defends delays, says east-west line will open by Mar

Reiterating that the east-west corridor of Namma Metro would be ready by March 2016, Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Managing Director P S Kharola said he was aware of missed deadlines.

At a presentation to the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) on Tuesday, Kharola made it clear that Phase 1 and the east-west corridor underground line would be ready by March.

“We are targetting February-end. I understand we are missing deadlines, but I also understand it’s not an easy job.”

“Of the 42 km, 27 km is in running. Our biggest hurdle is we have to build the metro in a living city. The problems we are facing in Chickpet are mind-boggling. We have to use explosives, cutting machines and the like,” Kharola said. Presently, 97 per cent of the work is complete in Phase 1 while work on Phase 2 has begun.

Discussions have begun on Phase 3. Reach 4 and 4A will be commissioned in June, while Reach 1, 3, 3A and 3B have been commissioned.

The Majestic interchange will be able to handle 20,000 people at once. The diameter of the dome is 90 metres and will have 35 escalators. Electrical work is now in progress. The east-west station is 16 metres deep, while the north-south one is 25 metres deep.

“Finance was initially a big problem but it no longer is,” Kharola said and added that talks were on for cheaper, long-term and soft loans for the Rs 26,000 crore Phase 2 for which the government and the BMRCL will raise upto Rs 12,000 crore, while banks and other financial institutions would chip in with the rest.

No litigation

Phase 2 work has begun with demolition of structures. There has been no litigation between Mysore Road station and Kengeri. “We are readying compensation for the Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield line too where acquisition has begun,” the official said.

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