National

Bangalore Metro work unlikely to be completed by deadline

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on January 23, 2018

Tardy progress Bangalore Metro work is lagging behind Delhi Metro Phase-3. K MURALI KUMAR

Report says the project may extend up to 2032

Completion of Bengalore Metro project is expected to slip beyond the deadline to 2032, according to a report by RailYatri.in, a start-up which focuses on train travellers.

The report is based on the analysis of the progress in the last seven years, and also compares the performance of Bengaluru’s Namma Metro with the progress of Delhi Metro.

Behind Delhi Metro

“Considering phase-wise completed track length, Namma Metro is lagging well behind both the Delhi Metro and the Delhi Airport Metro project,” said Kapil Raizada, co-founder at RailYatri.in.

Delhi Metro achieved 8.06 km per year in Phase 1. The pace increased to over 15 km per year, with the total of 193 km of Phases I and II being completed in 12.8 years.

Also Delhi Metro aims to go even faster in Phase III currently under progress. In comparison, Namma Metro is still struggling to complete 22.7 km of Phase I and it is already in its eighth year.

Snail’s pace

Apart from the slow progress, the other issue with Namma Metro performance appears to be that their ‘learning curve’ is relatively flat. Its pace over the entire Phase I averages around 2.5 km a year, a slight increase from its Reach 1 average of 1.5 km per year.

“Namma Metro cannot be compared with any other city. The terrain beneath the earth surface is different,” said UA Vasanth Rao, General Manager (Finance), Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL), a special purpose company of the State government and the Centre.

India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra), a rating agency, said larger rail projects are more capital intensive than other transportation projects and are inevitably characterised by completion delays.

It said construction completion of Reach 1 (Baiyyappanahalli to MG Road – 6.7 km) and Reach 3 & 3A (Mantri Square Sampige Road to Peenya Industry – 9.9 km) and its ongoing construction in other reaches appears within the satisfactory limits as per BMRCL.

According to BMRCL, the strategy of segmenting the project to multiple internationally reputed contractors could curtail enormous delays as it resembles the style of European rail service companies and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The clarity and adequate protections in contracts mitigate delays stemming from the contractor’s carelessness. As for the Bengaluru’s citizens, the ongoing delays have made daily commute a challenge with broken roads, under-construction stations, and road detours.

Time requirement

Given Bengaluru Metro’s track record, completing 42.3 km of Phase II will require another 16.7 years for the project to be completed. And given that Phase II is scheduled to start only after the completion of Phase I in 2016, the end date works out to between 2032 and 2033.

Kapil Raizada said, “Some introspection in the case of Bengaluru Metro would help. At the current pace of progress, in every one year DMRC adds capacity equivalent to the entire Bengaluru Metro Phase I. DMRC’s performance is extremely commendable, and perhaps it is time that others just follow the practices set by them, instead of re-inventing the wheel each time.”

Published on October 27, 2015

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