BMRCL proceeds with landscaping of underground stations

The government is yet to take a call on shifting of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar statue located in front of Vidhana Soudha. The Karnataka High Court on December 12 directed it to shift the statue within 15 days to an appropriate site within the Vidhana Soudha premises on a public interest writ petition that complained about delay in station works due to the deadlock over the statue’s shifting.

A top Public Works Department (PWD) official claimed the department was still waiting for the court order.

He told The Hindu: “We have only read about it in the newspapers. Once we receive the order, it will be submitted to the government for suitable direction. No decision has been taken as of now.”

Controversy

The government had on June 6, 2009, issued an order directing the PWD to shift three statues — those of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subas Chandra Bose and Dr. Ambedkar — to the Rose Garden besides the grand steps to facilitate construction of the Vidhana Soudha underground station. While the first two were shifted immediately, that of Ambedkar was embroiled in controversy due to opposition from Dalit organisations.

Yallappa Madara, convenor of Dalita Sangarsh Samiti, Karnataka, urged the government to challenge the High Court order in the Supreme Court as no Dalit organisations were made party in the proceedings before the High Court. The government should array Dalit organisations too before the Supreme Court, he said while expressing organisation’s displeasure over the court order.

Finishing touches

With construction of station structures nearing completion, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) will now look at giving finishing touches to the City Railway Station and Sir M. Visvesvaraya (Central College) underground metro stations.

Tenders invited

Racing ahead to meet the revised (yet again!) deadline of December 2014 for commercial operation of Phase 1, BMRCL has now invited tenders for architectural finishing and ‘hard’ landscaping for these two underground metro stations.

The tender is likely to be awarded by March 2013 and the contractor will be given 80 weeks to complete the construction from the date of issuing Notice to Proceed. The estimated cost of the work is about Rs. 30 crore for the two stations.

Station superstructures

BMRCL spokesperson told The Hindu that in about two months the superstructure of these two stations will be ready and hence the corporation has decided to proceed with giving the finishing touches. In about two months, two other underground stations — Vidhana Soudha and Cubbon Park — too are likely to reach the final stages of construction and fresh tenders will be invited for these stations too.

All these stations are on the East-West corridor (Byappanahalli-Mysore Road Terminal) of Namma Metro Phase 1. Work on the two-level underground interchange metro stations at Majestic and tunnelling and construction of two underground metro stations (Chickpet and K.R. Market) on the North-South corridor is under progress.

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