Bengaluru is a major IT hub and its public transport is key in facilitating the economic activities and providing means for the public to commute across the city. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL), which is in charge of the metro rail project of the city, is building lines across the city in phased manner. While some lines have made progress in time, others have been delayed as well.
Here’s what Bengaluru’s overall plan for Namma Metro looks like:
Phase 1: Construction of Phase 1, with routes totaling 42.3 km, started in April 2007. Its first section, connecting Baiyyappanahalli to MG Road on the Purple Line, opened in 2011. The entire phase became operational by June 2017.
Phase 2: Phase 2, which would add 73.9 km to the network, was approved by the Karnataka government in 2011 and by the Centre in 2014. Of the 73.9 km track length, 13.8 km was to be underground and the rest elevated.
Due to funding issues, a majority of civil construction contracts for this phase were awarded only in the first half of 2017. While the Purple Line’s extension to Challaghatta and Green Line’s extension to Anjanapura Township will be ready in 2020-21, the entire phase is expected to be ready in sections by 2024 only.
Phase 2A and 2B: Tenders have been invited for Phase 2A (Silk Board – KR Puram line) and Phase 2B (KR Puram – Airport), but Centre’s approval for these lines is pending.
Phase 3: Phase 3 is being explored since 2015, and is still in the planning stage. This phase is expected to have routes totalling 105.5 km. Pre-feasibility and techno-economic feasibility studies were prepared by RITES and BMRCL in 2016. In February 2018, Karnataka Government approved the preparation of the project’s detailed project report (DPR). The DPR has not been submitted yet.
Construction of this phase is expected to begin in 2025 and end in the mid-2030s. By the time construction begins, multiple changes can be expected in the project’s scope and alignment.
While Phase 1 is already operational, BMRCL has awarded contracts for construction of all lines in Phase 2, as indicated below. Phase 2 includes the extensions of the phase 1 (green and purple) lines along with the construction of two new lines – yellow and pink.
Below, I document BMRCL’s efforts to keep up the pace of Phase 2 construction.
1. Lines 1A and 1B, from Baiyappanahalli to ITPL-Whitefield
The eastward extension of the Purple Line from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield is being constructed by ITD Cementation India Limited. The company started construction in the last quarter of 2017 and has completed over 80% of the civil works. Currently, the station roof works and viaduct erection is in progress.
2. Lines 2A and 2B (Mysore Road Terminal to Kengeri)
The western side expansion of the Purple Line from Mysore road to Challaghatta is being constructed by IL&FS and SOMA constructions. The companies started construction in early 2017 and have missed several deadlines for completion.
However, as per BMRCL’s September newsletter, nearly 95% of the civil works are complete along this line now. Track laying and station architecture works are being taken up and the line is planned to be opened by early 2021.
3. Line 3C (Hessaraghatta Cross to BIEC)
The northern extension of the Green Line from Nagasandra to Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) is being constructed by Simplex Infra. As the company is running in huge losses, the progress is low compared to other lines. The company has already built casting piers along Tumkur Road, and is currently taking up construction of all stations.
4. Line 4B (Puttenahalli Cross to Anjanapura Township)
The southern extension of Green Line from Yelachenahall to Anjanapura is being constructed by NCC Ltd. The company started work in early 2017. All civil works for this line have been completed.
Currently, architectural designing works of the stations are being done, and trial runs have been completed. This extension was all set to open to the public on November 1, but BMRCL may miss this deadline as it’s yet to get safety certificate for this line, as per a report in the Bangalore Mirror.
5. Line 5 (New line from RV Road to Bommasandra)
Construction of the new Yellow line from RV Road to Bommasandra was divided into three packages, and were awarded to HCC-URC JV and ITD-CEM JV. ITD-CEM has completed a fair amount of work and is currently constructing the stations and piers at Electronic City.
Meanwhile, HCC-URC is constructing a road-cum-rail flyover from Ragigudda to Silk Board along the Yellow Line, and is also building five stations. This is known to be the most complicated package of Yellow Line. The company has made good progress since it started work in mid-2018.
Currently, piling works are ongoing at Silk Board and Jayadeva, and station construction is being taken up. HCC-URC is also responsible for building a six-level interchange station at the Jayadeva intersection.
6. Line 6 (New line from Gottigere/IIMB to Nagavara)
Another new line of Phase 2 Metro, named Pink Line, will run parallel to the Green Line. Pink Line will run from Gottigere in the southern suburbs of Bengaluru to Nagavara in the northern end. The line has been divided into five packages (four underground and one overhead).
The overhead package was awarded to Simplex Infra. The company commenced work in 2018 and has made very little progress due to losses. Simplex has not even started preliminary works on the stretch from Jayadeva to Swagath Road Station. It has taken up piling works on different stretches as well as station construction works.
The four underground packages were awarded among three companies – L&T, ITD-CEM JV and AFCONS.
AFCONS has started piling work in different stretches between Dairy Circle and Rashtriya Military School. It will be deploying three Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs).
L&T started work in mid-2019. It has already started tunnelling in one direction from Cantonment Station to Shivaji Nagar Station. Casting works of tunnel segments are in progress at their own casting yard in Peenya. The company is to deploy four TBMs.
ITD-CEM JV is the last company to start work on this line, in the last week of August. The company is currently conducting test pile works, and barricades are being erected.