Bangalore Metro rolls from Thursday

October 19th, 2011 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Oct 19 (IANS) The Namma Metro service in India’s tech hub will chug from Thursday evening, with the decks cleared for commercial operations of the project that has been hit by cost overruns and inordinate delays.

“The first phase (Reach-1) of the Namma Metro service will commence operations Thursday evening from 4 p.m. after union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath flags off the inaugural run earlier in the day,” state-run Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) managing director N. Sivasailam told IANS here.

Union Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi, central ministers belonging to Karnataka, including Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa, M. Veerappa Moily, Mallikarjuna Kharge, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Japanese Ambassador Akitaka Saiki and a host of dignitaries, including lawmakers and officials will be present on the occasion.

Though the state government was keen to have the prime minister for the occasion as he laid the foundation stone June 24, 2006 for the project, Nath and Trivedi will have the honour of flagging off the service.

The Reach-1 of the Rs.11,609-crore - revised cost - mega project from M.G. Road in city centre to Baiyappanahalli in the eastern suburb covers 6.7 km on elevated tracks with four stations in between.

“We have invested about Rs.4,000 crore so far in the project, including Rs.360 crore on civil works. We will operate four trains of three coaches in both directions with 10-15 minutes frequency from morning till late night to make 45 trips to ferry about 1,000 commuters on each trip,” Sivasailam said.

The corporation began civil works in 2007 and executed Reach-1 in March 2011, 24 months behind the original schedule leading to a cost escalation of Rs.3,451 crore from the estimated cost of Rs.8,158 crore.

The first phase comprising two corridors will cover a total of 42.3 km across the city, with 18.1 km on east-west corridor and 24.2 km on north-south corridor, including 8.8 km underground in the city centre. There will be 41 stations.

Being built on public-private partnership model, with the state and central governments holding 15 percent equity each (Rs.1,224 crore), the project has 25 percent (Rs.2,040 crore) as subordinate debt and 45 percent senior term debt from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

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