Bengaluru: The state government has once again pushed the deadline for the completion of Phase 1 of the Metro project to April 2017. Earlier, work was to end in April 2016 but was pushed to November 2016 before being delayed further.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah overrode Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation’s assurance that Phase 1 will be operational in January 2017. He instead asserted that it would be completed by this Rajyotsava Day on November 1. Now both the deadlines won’t be met.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Siddaramaiah announced that entire operations for the 43-km route of Phase 1 will be operational by April next year. He said that of the 11km yet to be completed in Phase 1, four km was underground. “Only 15 metres of work remain in the underground section. Other works like laying of tracks, electricity connections and trial runs will be completed by end of March and it should be open by April 2017,” he said.
In some cheer for thousands of commuters braving traffic on the Silk Board junction, the government has decided to fast-track construction of the Silk Board-K R Puram route via Iblur and will include it under the first part of Phase 2. Initially, the 18km stretch was not part of the original routes planned under Phase 2. However, earlier this year, then Bengaluru Development Minister K J George proposed the route after receiving numerous representations from employees of various IT companies commuting on this stretch.
The Metro project has been bogged by numerous delays ever since it took off. Earlier this year, then Bengaluru Development Minister K J George had said, “This route will be taken up on a priority basis. We have decided to allocate `3,600 crore for this. A Detailed Project Report (DPR) will be prepared by October 20. BMRCL will also raise funds through auction of their lands, loans and other methods.”
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd has proposed that funds would be raised through charging premium floor area ratio (FAR), betterment charges, naming and advertising rights, charges for premium access ways and ramps, commercialisation of airspace and levying of additional cess on approval of new projects.
Siddaramaiah also said that Phase 2 of Metro would be completed by 2020 and based on the experience in implementing Phase 1 of the project, an attempt would be made to complete the first part of Phase 2 two years before deadline.