Apart from the Whitefield and Electronics City lines, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is hopeful of opening two more lines under phase II.
The extended Green Line on Tumakuru Road from Nagasandra to Madavara (BIEC), a stretch of 3 km, will be opened for the public. Another line from Kengeri to Challaghatta on Mysuru Road is also likely to be made operational. On the Mysuru Road to Challaghatta line, the section from Mysuru Road to Kengeri was opened in August 2021.
When asked about the progress achieved in the construction of the Pink Line from Kalena Agrahara to Nagawara (21 km), Anjum Parwez, Managing Director, BMRCL said that the construction of the elevated line between Kalena Agrahara and Dairy Circle is going at a good pace after entrusting the work to a new contractor. For years, construction work was halted after the previous contractor faced a severe financial crisis, forcing the BMRCL to cancel the contract.
“The BMRCL has deployed nine Tunnel Boring Machines to build a tunnel network over 14 km from Dairy Circle to Nagawara, out of which two machines have completed the task,” he said. “One machine, which got stuck near Lakkasandra after encountering a garbage pile, will shortly resume work. On Tannery Road, another machine faced issues with loose soil near Tin Factory. Our team has fixed the problem, and the machine has crossed the problematic portion. Other TBMs are working as per the plans,” he said.
Prolonged delays earlier
The construction of the tunnel faced prolonged delay earlier due to various factors, including cancellation of the tender process after the bidder made inflated quotes when the tender was floated for the first time. The BMRCL had then thought of changing the alignment, but after finding this unfeasible, a decision was taken to stick to the original plan . Delay in land acquisition such as properties of All Saints Church, defence land and others too delayed the process.
Other major factors for delay in executing phase II project include changes in plans at later stages; for example, construction of a road-cum-metro flyover between Ragigudda and Central Silk of R.V. Road to Bommasandra line was never part of the original DPR. The BMRCL also took a long time to decide on how to build two metro lines (Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield and ORR-Airport lines) near the Tin Factory area.
Another major hurdle was the process involved in clearing trees coming in the way of the project. The pandemic, cost escalation in steel price after the Russia-Ukraine war, heavy rainfall too played major roles in delaying the project.
Airport line by 2025
On construction of the ORR-Airport line, linking the city with Kempegowda International Airport, the official said as per the plan, by 2025, this line will be made operational. The total length of this metro line is 55 km and it goes via K.R. Puram, Nagawara, and Hebbal. By 2025, the city is likely to have an operational metro network of 175 km.
(With inputs by Bharath Gowda B.R.)