Union Cabinet approves Bangalore Metro Rail Project phase 2A, 2B

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The city has taken another step towards realising its dream of metro connectivity to the airport. The Union Cabinet on Tuesday finally approved Namma Metro’s Phase 2A (ORR Line) and Phase 2B (Airport Line) totalling a length of 58.19 km at an estimated cost of ₹14,788.1 crore.

While the State government had given its approval for the two crucial lines for transit in Bengaluru two years ago, the delay in Union government clearance had held up the project. If all goes as planned, the project will be completed in five years. The proposal was included in the 2021-22 Union Budget and was accorded Cabinet approval on Tuesday.

Railways minister Piyush Goyal, who briefed the media after the Cabinet meeting, and Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, hailed the project for its “transformative impact on the city’s commute”. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa took to Twitter and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Key hubs to get connectivity

While Phase 2A will connect Central Silk Board Junction to K. R. Puram via Outer Ring Road (19.75 km and 13 stations), Phase 2B will connect K.R. Puram to Kempegowda International Airport via Hebbal Junction (38.44 km and 17 stations). The two phases put together will connect key hubs such as Electronics City, Bellandur, Marathahalli, K.R. Puram, Nagavara, Yelahanka and KIA. It will come as a boon to office goers as it will connect the IT corridor of the city to the airport.

“Once completed in the estimated 54 months, this project will play a key role in decongesting the city which contributes 40% to India’s IT exports and is home to a large number of IT parks, hubs and industries; many of which are located on the route,” Mr. Puri tweeted.

Land acquisition

Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) had already begun preparatory works for the project and work on Phase 2A can start in a short while. Sources in BMRCL said land acquisition for Phase 2A is complete, and tenders for civil works finalised but were kept in abeyance for the Union Cabinet approval. “Now that the Union Cabinet has approved the project, the work orders can be issued soon,” a senior BMRCL official said.

Meanwhile, land acquisition for Phase 2B is 90% complete and the financial bids for the tenders yet to be opened. While there has been no clarity on the Centre’s share, sources said it will be around ₹2,000 crore. The State government is expected to invest 35% of the project cost, sources said.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had approved a loan of USD 500 million (approximate ₹3,860 crore) in December 2020 and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement with Government of India in March 2021 to give a loan of estimated ₹3,717 crore for developing an estimated 80 km of metro line including Phase 2A and Phase 2B.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 9:57:04 PM |

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