BENGALURU:The 42.3-km stretch of Namma Metro line under Phase-I will not be fully ready by the March 2016 deadline. The delay in completing the underground tunnel near the Kempegowda Interchange Station will have a cascading effect on the network’s completion.
“We will be able to complete around 40 km of the proposed network by March next year. It will take a couple of months more to complete the stretch between KR Market and Kempe Gowda Metro stations,” Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation MD Pradeep Singh Kharola told Express.
During the inauguration of Reach-3B, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had permitted the extension of the original deadline from December 2015 to March 2016.
The four Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), Margarita, Krishna, Cauvery and Godavari, hold the key for completion of the underground tunnel leading to Kempegowda Interchange Metro station.
Krishna and Kaveri are working in parallely in opposite directions from Chikpet to Kempegowda. Godavari is working from Sampige Road to Kempegowda while Margarita is working along the same route in the reverse direction. “Margarita will complete tunnelling work by November-end and Kaveri by January-end. However, Godavari and Krishna will be able to complete the work only by February-end,” Kharola said. The deadlines can be met only if everything happens as scheduled, he added.
TBM Krishna encountered enormous problems including a 5x5 metre cave-in which slowed it down before it finally emerged out of Chikpet station on August 31. Godavari’s head cutter suffered much wear and tear due to the rough areas it had to bore through and it had to wait until a spare part was shipped from Italy. “Both have crossed over all difficult terrain and will be able to do regular tunnelling unhindered,” the MD said.
The East-West corridor (see box) will be declared open by January 2016. “It is only the southern end of the North-South corridor that will see the delay. The 8-km stretch between National College and Puttenahalli will be ready by March 2016 and it is only the 2-plus km stretch that will suffer delays.