BENGALURU: Pushing the deadline of Metro Phase-2 by two years, Chief Engineer of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd N P Sharma said the 72.1 km section would be completed by 2022.
He was speaking at the Institution of Engineers (India) on Wednesday about ‘Metro Rail System in Bengaluru’. BMRCL top officials had maintained that Phase-2 would be ready by 2020.
“Phase-2 will be constructed at a cost of `26,405 crore. It was looking at driverless trains like Delhi Metro is planning,” he said. “It will be expensive though,” Sharma said. This involves extension of Phase-1 and two new lines.
The 42-km stretch of Phase-1 will be ready by April-May. When it starts functioning, Metro hopes to break even. “After the 7th year of Phase-1, it will make profits,” he said.
He predicted a dramatic increase in the ridership on Phase-1. “The occupancy figures in this Phase are set to touch 8 lakh and then 12 lakh in future after feeder buses, BMTC connectivity are all in place,” the CE said. 3,500 can be rescued from a station during emergency BMRCL has elaborate arrangements in place to rescue passengers in the case of any emergency, Sharma said. “In case of any problem on a train, the first step taken is to ensure the train is brought to the nearest Metro station if possible,” he added.
Measures are in place to shift passengers to the concourse area of any station within 4.5 minutes and to the ground within 6 minutes, he said.
“While each staircase will ensure movement of 57 passengers, escalators can transport 135 passengers at one go.”
However, in the case of fire, escalators cannot be operated and it is used as a staircase. M G Road Metro station has a steel staircase reaching up to the road that can be used in case of any emergency.
In case of any smoke or fire in an underground station, tunnel ventilation passages are provided. “For every 240m, cross passages are provided so that public can shift from one tunnel to another,” the CE said.
Elaborating on the problems faced in the underground section, he spoke of enormous issues encountered when drilling. “When the Tunnel Boring Machines were going beneath Sharada hotel, we had to use support balance beams to complete the work. We had to drill below petrol pumps and shift petrol tanks for safety,” he said.
When carrying out underground work for the Cubbon Park Metro station, great care was taken that no damage took place to HAL and to BSNL offices, which is a heritage structure.