Work on underground stretch could delay Metro Phase II too

Work on underground stretch could delay Metro Phase II too

Delays that dogged the tunnelling work of Namma Metro first phase may come back to haunt the proposed 13.79-km underground corridor of Namma Metro Phase II too.

This is evident from the fact that Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) has made no progress in the extensive preliminary work like land acquisition, arranging funds and awarding contracts.

BMRCL took almost five years to complete the 10-km tunnelling work in the first phase. In spite of dividing the work in two packages (Coastal-TTS JV and CEC–Soma-CICI JV) and using six tunnel-boring machines, BMRCL had to face criticism for overshooting deadlines several times. The last tunnel-boring machine broke through only in September.

Delayed Phase-I tunneling work had a direct impact on the Puttenahalli-National College Metro operations, though the elevated stretch was ready for use since 2015. The incomplete underground work between Kempegowda interchange Metro station and Sampige Road in Malleswaram has disappointed lakhs of commuters, who are anticipating a seamless ride away from the vehicle-congested roads. Urban planners point out that similar instances of poor planning and promises are going to rebound yet again with the delay in starting the second phase of the underground work. Besides, further extension of Nagawara line has been the most preferred choice of the nine route options to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), which is about 35 km away from Nagawara.

Besides six elevated stations, the proposed Gottigere-IIMB-Nagawara Metro line consists of 12 underground Metro stations, involving extensive tunnelling work. Underground stations are Dairy Circle, Mico Industries, Langford Town, Vellara Jn, MG Road, Shivajinagar, Cantonment Railway Station, Pottery Town, Tannery Road, Venkateshpuram, Arabic College and Nagawara. The estimated cost of this particular stretch is Rs 11,014 crore.

BMRCL, however, is confident of completing the tunnelling work faster than Phase-I. “We had divided the first phase tunnelling work into two packages. This time, we will divide the work into several packages in order to finish it quickly,” a senior BMRCL official said, refusing to mention the year of completion.

Route of Gottigere-Nagawara Metro line
The line traverses along Bannerghatta Road as an elevated line up to Swagath Road Cross and then goes underground just after Sagar Hospital near the fire station. The entire length from this point is underground. The line passes through the Dairy Circle, and runs along the Mico industries and then reaches Hosur Road, crossing Richmond Road at Vellara Junction. After this, the line traverses below Brigade Road and crosses MG Road underneath the Phase – I East-West Metro line and reaches Kamaraj Road. At MG Road, the underground integrated station is planned 90 metres below  the platform edge of the existing elevated MG Road Station and is connected through escalators and stairs. After this, the underground alignment crosses Cubbon Road to reach Shivajinagar Bus Stand. Further, the alignment traverses below the Queen’s Road and reaches Cantonment Railway Station. From here, the line traverses below Nandidurg Road, Tannery Road and reaches Nagawara after crossing the ORR.

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