Bengaluru Metro: Delay sees land acquisition cost rise threefold for Phase II

The 72-km Namma Metro project estimate is now ₹32,000 crore

October 27, 2018 11:58 pm | Updated October 28, 2018 10:17 am IST - Bengaluru

BENGALURU - KARNATAKA - 03/09/2017 :The construction works of viaduct and stations begins on Hosur road, NH, between Central Silk Board and Bommasandra, for the yellow line of Namma Metro Phase II, by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), in Bengaluru on September 03, 2017. The fully elevated yellow line of BMRCL's Phase II, will connect the R.V. Road station to Bommasandra station, with a total length of 18.82 kilometers, will have 16 stations, and connecting areas like Ragigudda, Jayadeva Hospital, BTM Layout, Central Silk Board, HSR Layout, Oxford Colelge, Muneshwaranagar, Chikkabegur, Basapura, Hosa Road, Electronics City, Huskur Road, Hebbagodi and Bommasandra. The R.V. Road station, on the currently operational Green Line, will be the interchange station. Around 550 properties have been acquired on this busy stretch on Hosur National Highway.    Photo: K. Murali Kumar

BENGALURU - KARNATAKA - 03/09/2017 :The construction works of viaduct and stations begins on Hosur road, NH, between Central Silk Board and Bommasandra, for the yellow line of Namma Metro Phase II, by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), in Bengaluru on September 03, 2017. The fully elevated yellow line of BMRCL's Phase II, will connect the R.V. Road station to Bommasandra station, with a total length of 18.82 kilometers, will have 16 stations, and connecting areas like Ragigudda, Jayadeva Hospital, BTM Layout, Central Silk Board, HSR Layout, Oxford Colelge, Muneshwaranagar, Chikkabegur, Basapura, Hosa Road, Electronics City, Huskur Road, Hebbagodi and Bommasandra. The R.V. Road station, on the currently operational Green Line, will be the interchange station. Around 550 properties have been acquired on this busy stretch on Hosur National Highway. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

The delay in finalising route alignments and executing Phase II of Namma Metro project has proved costly. Increasing land prices over the years has also been a major factor that has pushed the estimated project cost from ₹26,405 crore in 2012 to ₹32,000 crore for a metro network that spans 72 km.

In 2012, the BMRCL had estimated that it would cost ₹2,000 crore to acquire properties for the project. It has gone up to ₹6,293 crore now. “The estimation was done seven years ago. When the engineers prepare a detailed design plan after the project report is ready, they have to adhere to various specifications set by the Railways. One can attribute this as a factor, but it is inevitable,” said Ajay Seth, managing director of BMRCL.

The government has already given clearance for the increased land cost, he added. “General inflation, tender premium, and change in the design plan also contribute to the increased cost.”

BMRCL lost years while finalising an alignment or changing approved plans due to various factors. On Reach 5, from RV Road to Bommasandra, for instance, it was initially proposed that there be an elevated line from Ragigudda Road to Silk Board. However, on account of the Outer Ring Road metro project (part of Phase-II A), the proposal was changed into a road-cum-metro flyover. A decision was also taken to build an intersection metro station at the Silk Board Junction, which required acquisition of more properties.

On the same Reach 5 line, the plan for the section between Silk Board to Electronics City was altered. The original plan was altered to build an elevated corridor next to the existing service road. Now, it is being built on the median.

To facilitate the ORR line, the BMRCL is planning to build two parallel elevated corridors between Baiyappanahalli and K.R. Puram metro stations. This was not part of the original plan. There were also changes in the locations of proposed depots. For example, the depot planned on Mysore Road has now been relocated to Challaghatta.

Sources in the BMRCL said that that the guidance value in 2010 was taken into consideration for the detailed project report to estimate land acquisition costs. However, land cannot be notified at one go for any project as properties identified were based on the final approval for the alignment of the project.

“The metro project is probably one of the major projects in the city where thousands of properties need to be acquired and it is a tedious process as well. Only after the alignment is approved will we know the exact extent of land required, and the government will come out with a notification. Guidance value or the transaction value of the properties are considered while giving compensation. If there is a delay in issuing notification, it will have an impact on land costs as guidance value increases every year.”

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