BANGALORE: The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has threatened to stop work at the Majestic site from March 13 over a dispute with the South Western Railway (SWR) with regard to land ownership. This latest tiff could delay the metro project further.
With SWR insisting that the piece of land belonged to them and that BMRCL has failed to make the balance payment, the metro authorities have threatened to stop work in the Majestic area from March 13. When contacted, BMRCL authorities first refused to comment and then claimed that they were ignorant about the matter. Sources said BMRCL has not been able to make payments on time and is now claiming that the amount quoted was not right, annoying SWR authorities.
Meanwhile, S Mani, Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore Division, South Western Railway (SWR) told Express that the piece of land on which BMRCL is involved in construction, is railway property and hence BMRCL has to pay a balance of Rs 92 crore to the Railways.
He explained, “If BMRCL has any differences on the amount, we can sit across the table and set the accounts right. As far as my knowledge goes, our officials have made the right calculations after thorough scrutiny.”
Mani categorically said he was not aware of the fact that BMRCL threatened to stop work over the dispute.
Last November, both the authorities had clashed on the same issue, not arriving at any amicable solution. The Railways had allegedly delayed clearances for construction for over five areas claiming it was railway land. The SWR had then alleged that BMRCL began construction without prior permission at two sites based on faulty designs and drawings. BMRCL retorted saying that if these long unsettled issues are not resolved, “it may have an impact on the project timelines and costs”.
With this new deadlock, experts warn that each day’s delay would cost the government Rs 65 lakh. In case BMRCL halts construction work at Majestic, Phase 1 will be delayed by more than 8-10 months.