7-km stretch likely to be taken up first
BENGALURU: The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is planning to take up the 14-km stretch between Dairy Circle and Nagawara in two phases. The BMRCL had proposed to take up the construction of this line through four packages with a view to speed up the work but gave up the idea as the bids quoted by contractors were steep.
A half of the stretch is expected to be underground and the BMRCL will take a call on the rest of the stretch, depending on the cost of tunnelling and land acquisition.
The 7-km stretch, where the metro is expected to go underground, runs between Vellara Junction (Richmond town) and Venkateshpura (Arabic College main road). “No decision, that is either going underground or overhead, is taken on the remaining stretches, which are basically extensions of the same line from Vellara Junction to Dairy Circle (3.5 km) and Venkateshpura to Nagawara (3.5 km),” sources in the BMRCL said.
The entire 14-km project is part of Reach 6 (Namma Metro Phase 2) network and the BMRCL had floated tenders for its construction in July 2017. The initial plan was to build underground line between Dairy Circle and Nagawara in view of the population density, railway lines and buildings.
The BMRCL, however, had to rethink its plan after construction firms quoted around 70% (or Rs 3,500 crore) more than what the corporation had initially estimated, even as the tender process alone had consumed about a year’s time. In the tender document, the BMRCL had split the entire 14-km project into four packages. Each package consisted of around 3.5-km of tunnelling and construction of three metro stations.
“We have sent a revised proposal to the European Investment Bank (EIB). We will float the tender once EIB completes evaluating our documents,” BMRCL managing director Mahendra Jain told ET. The approval of EIB is critical as a multinational lender grants long-term loans after vetting the project for which the loan is sought in terms of design, alignment and similar parameters. Any deviation from the original plan would require lender’s consent. The EIB is supporting BMRCL with Rs.3,500 crore for the metro project.
The revised proposal, BMRCL official said, includes the construction of an underground stretch between Vellara Junction and Venkateshpura, which is part of department’s initial plan. The BMRCL has, however, held back the remaining 7-km stretch as taking up entire project again would be a repetition of its past mistake.
“We will decide how to go about with the remaining stretch based on the response we get from construction firms. If the firms continue to quote high for tunnelling, we may consider going overground for the remaining 7-km stretch,” the official added.
He maintained that there could be several changes, which depends on variety of factors such as cost of tunnelling, land acquisition and project’s environmental and social impacts.
NO DECISION YET
No decision, that is either going underground or overhead, is taken on the remaining stretches, which are basically extensions of the same line from Vellara Junction to Dairy Circle (3.5 km) and Venkateshpura to Nagawara (3.5 km)