It now appears that Phase 1 of Namma Metro, from the Hessarghatta Cross to Jaraganahalli and from the Mysore Road Terminal to Byappanahalli, will be completed only by the end of 2013 as against the scheduled December 2012. The reason: delay in awarding contracts for the underground sections.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) invited tenders for the 4-km north-south underground stretch between Swastik and K.R. Road (excluding two underground stations at Majestic) recently.

Evaluation

While the tenders will be opened in June, it may take another two or three months to award the work to the lowest bidder as the tenders have to be evaluated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which is funding the project.

The underground stretch includes 2.3 km of twin tunnels, 519 metres of ramps and 1,080 metres of cut-and-cover tunnel, including that for Chickpet and City Market underground stations. The northern ramp will start from the south of the Swastik station and the southern ramp will start from the south of the City Market station. The contractor has 154 weeks to complete the work. This means that if the contract is awarded by the end of 2010, the work will take at least three years, that is 2013 end.

The underground package was bifurcated last December after BMRCL felt the sum quoted by the lowest bidder was higher than the estimated cost. The package was eventually trifurcated: East-West, Majestic Station and North-South. The contract for the East-West underground stretch has already been awarded. Tendering is under process for two levels of stations at Majestic.

By March 2013

However, a BMRCL spokesperson reiterated that Phase 1 will be complete by March 2013 as announced by the Chief Minister and the Governor. Though the contractor is given 154 weeks for completion, there is always scope for expediting the work by deploying additional manpower and machinery, he said. Completing the work ahead of schedule is beneficial for the contractor as he could end up saving money.

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