BENGALURU: Due to the model code of conduct in place, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) will not be able to immediately go ahead with the retendering of the Underground Corridor of the Nagawara-Gottigere Line of its Phase-II project.
This 13.9-km Reach-6 line, estimated to cost Rs 11,014 crore, will provide connectivity from Nagawara to the Kempe Gowda International Airport when it is ready for operations.Due to exorbitant bids exceeding two-thirds of the estimated cost quoted by the bidders earlier, BMRCL had decided to go in for retendering.
Speaking to The New Indian Express about it, Managing Director of BMRCL Mahendra Jain said, “We will not be able to float tenders for the next 1.5 months. However, this as such will not delay the entire project as all projects have long timelines. So, any kind of delay can be made up in due course by expediting other works.”
Citing the initial tender bids as a case in point, Jain said, “We expected the tendering process to be over in February. But a delay has happened. These happen in any long term project everywhere.”According to a Metro official, the underground contract, divided into four packages, was estimated to cost Rs 5,000 crore but the four concerns which participated in the bidding process pitched for nearly Rs 8,000 crore making it impossible for BMRCL to finalise the bid.
In the proposed fresh tender, BMRCL has decided to reduce the length of the 14-km underground tunnel as well as reduce the originally planned four packages, Jain said. “Since BBMP was undertaking road widening works at the two ends of the corridor both at Bannerghatta Road and at Tannery Road, we could now see the status of that. The Corporation plans to increase the length of the viaducts (portion on which tracks are laid) and reduce the originally proposed underground tunnel.”
“In case any hitches take place in the road widening work, then we can later decide to go in for a tendering of the remaining portion,” he added.Reducing the underground corridor would also make it cost-efficient for BMRCL since one kilometre of underground line costs Rs 500 crore while an elevated line works out to Rs 240 crore.
The Nagawara-Gottigere line will be the costliest stretch of the Rs 25,405 crore Phase-II project. It has 18 stations of which 6 are elevated and the rest underground. The underground section goes below the ground from Diary Circle in the South to Nagawara in the North and comprises 12 stations - Diary Circle, Mico Industries, Langford Town, Vellara, M G Road, Shivaji Nagar, Bamboo Bazaar, Pottery Town, Tannery Road, Venkateshpura, Arabic College and Nagawara.