Bangalore: With the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) directly monitoring the progress of Bangalore Metro, Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee has asked the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) MD Pradeep Singh Kharola to stick to the timelines and complete the 42-km phase I by March next.
“We are already two years behind the schedule and we have committed to the PMO that phase I will be ready by March 2016. I have told Kharola that his life depends on it,” Mukherjee told Media. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had, in June, said the first phase will complete by March.
Namma Metro is one of the six projects monitored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the Pro-Active Gover nance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI) platform. The phase I of the project has seen many postponements of deadlines and the state government has come under increased pressure as the PMO will flag questions to the chief secretary on the project’s progress. The Centre has invested a half of the equity in the project and the Union Urban Development Secretary is the chairman of the corporation.
Mukherjee reviewed the project recently . Only 19.1 km of the total 42-km network of phase I is operational along the purple (east-west) and green (north-south) corridors.
“We always compare it with the Delhi Metro. Here, we are sitting on hard rock. Our people underestimated the underground portions. The tunnel boring machines were not able to cut through as expected.Another advantage Delhi had was wide roads,” Mukherjee said.
‘PHASE II BY 2020’
The second phase of Namma Metro, a 72-km network that connects the IT cor ridors of Whitefield and Electronics City , will take five years to be ready .
“The land acquisition process is underway for phase II. By 2020, the entire phase will be complete,” Mukherjee said. This is a renewed deadline as Siddaramaiah told the Legislative Assembly last year that phase II would be ready by 2019.
Phase II will connect Byappanahalli to IPTB-Whitefield, Mysuru Road to Kengeri, Hesaraghatta to BIEC, Puttenahalli cross to Anjanapura, Gottigere-IIMB-Nagavara and RV Road to Bommasandra at a cost of ‘26,405.14 crore.
Kharola confirmed that the PMO had set March 2016 as the deadline to finish land acquisition for phase II, while the same has been set for finishing phase I.
A proposal to connect Nagawara to the Kempegowda International Airport is before the government.”This is under phase III. As it looks now, we cannot have a metro line going on the same alignment as the elevated road. I think it is very immature to talk about this right now,” he said.