Namma Metro Phase 1 to miss November 1 deadline

Namma Metro Phase 1 to miss November 1 deadline

Let alone the entire first phase of Namma Metro, even the crucial 900-metre stretch between Sampige Road (Mantri Square) and Kempegowda interchanging metro station is unlikely to be ready for commute on November 1.

Given the delay, the 42-km metro network is sure to miss its inaugural date coinciding with Rajyotsava Day.

It has been almost five months since the Godavari tunnel-boring machine (TBM), which was commissioned from Sampige Road metro station, made a dramatic breakthrough at Majestic metro station. The news brought relief to commuters who were waiting for a seamless ride from Nagasandra to the city centre. However, the wait is only getting longer.

Even though Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has started track-laying work on this 900-metre stretch, this line will not be ready for operations unless the tunneling work on the southern side (KR Market to Majestic) is completed.

“We cannot take up signalling and electrification work in parts. The entire underground stretch from Sampige Road (Mantri Square) to KR Market will be interconnected with power supply and computer-monitoring circuit. There’s no way we can advance the work,” a senior BMRCL official said.

“November 1 is a very difficult target. We did not expect the tunnel boring machines on the southern side to be moving so slow. The lone Krishna TBM is 50 metres away from breakthrough. We are working overtime to meet the deadline and we may slip by a few months,” the official added.

BMRCL might now push the train using a single track for operations between the already completed Yelachenahalli to National College metro station.

On the other side (from KR Market), one of the two TBMs has made a breakthrough. “Even if the Krishna TBM needs another two weeks to reach Majestic, it will take more than a month to dismantle the giant machine. BMRCL can start laying the track on the southern stretch only by the end of this year, which will then make way for signalling work between Sampige Road metro station and KR Market underground stretch to begin,” says urban mobility expert Sanjeev V Dyamannavar.

He blamed the lack of planning on the part of BMRCL for the delay.

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