Work on underground stretch yet to be completed

Although viaducts (elevated corridors) on the north–south corridor of Namma Metro are almost complete, it will take at least another year and a half for trains to ply between Sampige Road metro station in central Bangalore and Puttenahalli Cross in south Bangalore.

The construction of the underground stretch between Sampige Road Metro Station and National College, including the Majestic underground station on this corridor, is still midway, according to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here.

On the other hand, work on the east–west underground corridor between Cricket Stadium and Magadi Road is progressing well, with over 90 per cent completion.

Stuck

While part of the north–south corridor between Peenya Industrial Area and Sampige Road metro station (9.9 km) is almost ready and scheduled for commercial operations by next month, viaducts in the southern part of the corridor between National College and Puttenahalli cross though ready, cannot witness metro operations. The metro depot catering to this corridor is located in Peenya and unless the underground stretch between Sampige Road and National College is complete, trains cannot proceed beyond Sampige Road.

East-west corridor

The metro depot for the east–west corridor is at Byappanahalli and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) had been conducting partial operations till Mahatma Gandhi Road since the underground corridor was not ready. With over 90 per cent completion of the underground network on this stretch and only about 270 m tunnelling remaining near the City railway station, the corporation is hopeful of commencing commercial operations by December 2014 between Byappanahalli and Mysore Road terminal (Nayandahalli).

According to BMRCL managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola, trains could be operated on this corridor despite incomplete Majestic underground metro station, which is scheduled for completion in March 2015. “Majestic is being planned to be made a stop-over station to operate trains between Byappanahalli and Mysore Road terminal,” he said.

Why the delay

Mr. Siddaramaiah attributed the delay in completion of the project to four main reasons, including additional time required for shifting of underground utilities. The project was delayed by over a year because of splitting of the contract for north-south corridor and Majestic underground station and making them two separate contracts. Also, litigation over acquisition of land and delay in the Railways permitting underground work too impeded the progress, he said.

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