BENGALURU: The much-awaited Third Coaching Terminal at Baiyappanahalli is likely to be completed only by end of October provided migrant workers involved in the project return to the city shortly. It may take much longer if that does not happen. This terminal is crucial to run new long distance trains as well as take the traffic off the existing railway stations which are saturated.
The fresh deadline has been proposed by the South Western Railway (SWR) to Minister of State for Railways Suresh C Angadi during a review meet a couple of days ago.A senior official told TNIE, “Though only the finishing works are pending, this also involves enormous work due to the size of the terminal. We were at a very good pace in March before the lockdown necessitated due to the coronavirus. From 734 workers carrying out work there 24x7, it has come down to 95 people now.”
The easing of the lockdown is good for the project, he said. “Let us see if workers opt to return home on account of relaxation in restrictions. However, what we understand from our numerous contractors is that many do not want to come to Bengaluru and end up spending time in home quarantine. No one can report for duty immediately. They want to wait till that condition gets removed.”
The new deadline SWR is looking at is October-end. “Even that is a very optimistic deadline from our side and is dependent on the return of the migrant workforce to the project,” the official said.
Funds were sanctioned during the Railway budget 2015-2016 and the deadline was May 2019. Due to delays, it was split into two with one Phase to be readied in October 2019 and another in March 2020. A design flaw was noticed in Phase-I and a decision to merge the two Phases and complete them fully before the second phase deadline of March 2020 was taken. Its cost too was revised to `192.3 crore. The deadline was again later pushed to May this year. “The actual work commenced only two years ago and bearing that in mind, we have made tremendous progress,” the official added.