With the Railways not accepting Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited’s (BMRCL) demand for a 10 kmph speed restriction, the talks for the construction of a 66-metre span bridge across the railway station at Malleswaram for the Metro stretch between Swastik and Yeshwantpur on Reach 3, between BMRCL and South Western Railway (SWR) are progressing slowly.
According to a press release by BMRCL, the SWR has asked for a fee of `11 crore for a 20 kmph speed restriction and 26 blocks, taking into account factors like time loss on account of speed restriction and staff costs.
This was confirmed by the Divisional Railway Manager Anil Agarwal who said that the current charges were calculated based on a formula computed for 20 kmph. “They (BMRCL) have sent a team to discuss the modalities for construction. They asked for a 10 kmph speed restriction which we have not agreed to since it would cripple operations,” Agarwal said.
He added that the current block of 20 kmph would cause a delay between 6 and 10 minutes for 46 trains for a period of nine months.
“They asked us for 27 blocks of three hours each. If the costs are computed for 10 kmph, the charges would be more than Rs 18 crore,” he said. Agarwal added that the Rs 2. 86 crore charges already paid by BMRCL were ‘way leave charges’ which gives BMRCL the permission to cross the tracks.
“That is what we charge normally when there is no need to institute blocks, however this is different,” he said. Besides the blocks, BMRCL faces other challenges in completing this section of the Metro.
This is owing to the presence of high tension wires over the tracks and the erection of steel columns in order to put up the girder. Officials of BMRCL had earlier given an estimated time of completion at anywhere between 9 and 12 months and this escalation of completion time will naturally mean more charges to be paid by BMRCL.