The cost of the ongoing Phase II of Namma Metro project has gone up by ₹4,290 crore. For building a 72-km network, the BMRCL had estimated that the completion of the project would cost ₹26,405 crore; now, the cost has gone up to ₹30,695 crore.
These revelations were made by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs while giving a reply to the questions raised by Rajya Sabha member G.C. Chandrashekar.
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) has cited compensation paid towards the acquisition of land as the reason for cost escalation. The Ministry’s reply states that the land acquisition cost is entirely borne by the Karnataka Government.
Sources in the BMRCL said that for the ongoing Phase II — which includes the construction of two metro lines from R.V. Road to Bommasandra and Kalena Agrahara to Nagawara — 12,88, 206 sq. metres of the land was identified, out of which 12,77,433 sq. metres of the land has been acquired. The BMRCL has already spent a ₹6,495 crore towards payment of compensation to the landowners.
An official said, “In 2011, it was estimated that land acquisition would cost ₹2,100 crore. Land acquisition for the project started in a phased manner in 2015. There are various factors for the rise in land acquisition costs, including the implementation of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013; increased guidance value over the years; revision in the extension of land required for the project; widening of the road near metro alignment; and delay in acquisition of land due to litigations.”
Interestingly, the BMRCL is not yet done with the land acquisition and the cost is likely to rise as the agency is still in the process of acquiring the land for the project at many locations. For example, it is acquiring over 4,848 sq. metres of land at Dairy Circle, Mico Layout, Nagawara, and other underground metro lines for power receiving stations and other works. An additional 1,147 sq. metres of land was acquired on R.V. Road to Bommasandra line. The BMRCL has also estimated acquisition of NICE land for the metro project on Tumakuru Road, Mysuru Road, Hosur Road and others could cost over ₹100 crore. The KIADB will decide on compensation after verifying the documents.
It is not only Phase II, the BMRCL had also revised the completion cost of the Phase I project (for 42 km) from ₹8,158 crore (in 2011) to ₹13,845 crore (in 2015).
Progress of Phase II metro work
The reply also states that as of February 2022, the physical and financial progress of the project is 63.5% and 65.24%, respectively. Out of the 72 km metro line, 13.65 km has become operational. “Phase II of the project is delayed due to delay in land acquisition, execution of contracts, permission for tree removal, and COVID-19 pandemic,” the reply states.