BENGALURU (Metro Rail News): Much delayed, the city’s longest underground Metro corridor — between Dairy Circle and Nagawara (14km-Phase 2) — is finally on track. Come February, the giant will drill and cut through Bengaluru’s underbelly between Vellara Junction and Pottery Town (5.5km).
Last February, Larsen & Toubro received bids for the underground section from Vellara Junction to Shivajinagar (2.7km) and Shivajinagar to Pottery Town (2.8km). The corridor on Red Line will have stations at Vellara Junction, MG Road, Shivajinagar, Cantonment and Pottery Town.
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) said tunneling will begin in February 2020. “TBMs will arrive in the city by December 2019. Four TBMs will be deployed for these two packages,” said a BMRCL official.
He denied that tunneling was being delayed due to land acquisition issues. “Tunnel shafts are being created at Shivajinagar and Cantonment stations, for which work is underway,” he said. BMRCL has started digging vertical shafts, which will be used to lower the machines. Work on both shafts will be completed before the TBMs arrive. Officials said the contractor is procuring the TBMs from China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Corporation Limited (CRCHI).
However, BMRCL is yet to finalize the machines’ names. “These TBMs will tunnel 2.5-5 meters per day, depending on the geographical condition they encounter. They are of higher capacity as compared to the TBMs used in Phase 1. Detailed soil investigation has been carried out at smaller intervals for Phase 2,” said a BMRCL official.
The corporation has been conducting soil tests along the section for the past few months. This phase of Metro tunneling is likely to be more challenging as the TBMs will pass through densely populated areas and there are concerns regarding the safety of old buildings in areas like Shivajinagar.
BMRCL has set 2024 as the deadline for the commissioning of the underground section. It took about five years to complete the 10km tunneling work during Phase I and missed multiple deadlines. Sources said ITD Cementation India Ltd has emerged as the lowest bidder for construction of the 4.6km underground section with four stations: Tannery Road, Venkateshpura, Arabic College and Nagawara. Similarly, Afcons Infrastructure emerged as the lowest bidder for the 3.7km underground section with three stations: Dairy Circle, MICO Industries and Langford Town