JMRC gets cold feet over Metro phase-I(B) review meeting

Jaipur:  The review meeting of underground Metro phase-I(B) called by the state government to discuss the possible structural and cosmetic damage to heritage sites in the Walled City has given tensions to the Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC).

Sources in the department claimed that even though it is minimally possible but if the new state government shelves this phase, the corporation will have to pay heavy penalty to Continental Engineering Corporation. “The work has already been awarded to the Taiwan-based company. As per the contract the corporation has to pay heavy penalty and legal formalities. This will also tarnish the JMRC image as for the first time construction work for the Metro corridor has been taken up by the state government,” said a source.

Official sources said apprehensions were shown that the vibration from a running train may cause structural or cosmetic damage to Chandpole Gate and other heritage structures. However, an environmental impact assessment has been submitted by Asian Development Bank that comprises all precautionary measures.

“The JMRC will continue monitoring sites established by the contractor for noise and vibration and will observe the same trigger values. No heritage resources are inadvertently damaged during construction,” states the report.

The review of financial viability has also made JMRC officials apprehensive that the new state government may not get convince to seek loan for extension of phase-I(B). Officials said, the Asian Development Bank has recently approved the loan of USD 176 million.

There is sufficient arrangement of funds to construct the line from Mansarovar to Chandpole. “The JMRC, however, is not in a position to fund the entire project till Badi Chaupar,” said sources.

The estimated cost to construct the line from Mansarovar to Chandpole is Rs 2,000 crore. After extending to Badi Chaupar, the cost will go up to around Rs 3,149 crore.

There was also a fear that surface noise from excavating equipment in Choti and Badi Chaupar may damage Krishna Temple, Jantar Mantar, and Hawa Mahal and also disturb patients in the Pink City Hospital near Chandpole, Chaudhary Hospital, Maharaja School at the corner of Choti Chaupar.

“The contractor will ensure that noise from construction activities does not exceed relevant limit prescribed in the Indian Ambient Air Quality Standards for Commercial Area and Silence Zone,” says the report.