Will Metro come to ORR and when?

BMRCL will be initiating the technical studies for KR Puram - Silk Board stretch, but when will the proposal be ready and how will the state find funds for a new section not part of the original design?

Phase 1 and 2 of Namma Metro network. Image: themetrorailguy.com

Over the last few months, the news of Metro connectivity along the Outer Ring Road has been making the rounds. There have been news reports of the modification in Namma Metro Phase II plan to accommodate the metro link along the ORR, connecting the Silk Board Junction and K R Puram. But will this plan materialise? Is there a timeframe?

According to a recent Deccan Herald news report, BMRCL has decided to modify the Phase II project, to make K R Puram and Silk Board junction as interchange stations. BMRCL has planned to build additional platforms and portals at the new stations. The estimated cost of the project, the report says, is Rs 3,600 crore. The line will have elevated stations passing through traffic-prone areas such as HSR Layout, Sarjapur Road, Bellandur, Kadubeesanahalli and Marathahalli.

However, the plans seem to be up in the air and no concrete steps have yet been taken. The project will be implemented only if the State government approves the project proposal and the proposal is yet to be prepared.

BMRCL floated a tender for DGPS, Topographic, Land & Property Survey from K R Puram to Silk Board on June 16th. The contractor is supposed to complete the survey work within six months. Another tender was floated on the same day for Geo Technical Investigation of K R Puram to Central Silk Board line of Bangalore Metro Rail Project, with a timeline of three and a half months. The estimated cost of the two surveys are Rs 33 lakh and Rs 42 lakh, respectively. The last date for submitting both the tenders was July 19th. However, it’s not clear whether tenders have been allotted to any agency.

Speaking to Citizen Matters, Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola said that it will take a couple of months to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR).

“We are trying to do innovative methods of financing for this project. The cost of metro line on ORR has not been estimated yet and it will be included in the DPR. If the proposal is approved, then the project will be implemented along with Phase II of Namma Metro,” he said. He refused to divulge information on what the ‘innovative’ financing methods are.

To a query on how will BMRCL address the issue of traffic congestion in the already overcrowded ORR, specially on the infamous Silk Board junction, he said all those aspects will be dealt with in the Detailed Project Report and nothing has been finalised yet. On asked about if the BMRCL has done a feasibility study, he said it will be part of DPR.

Origin of metro plan on ORR

According to a news report, industrialists and civic evangelists made a request to the then Bengaluru Development Minister K J George to consider a metro link between K R Puram and Silk Board, to ease the congestion. The request was made a few days before Invest Karnataka, the global investor’s meet that was held in Bengaluru in the first week of February.  

Reportedly, the minister then announced that the government was looking at two lines, one between K R Puram and Silk Board and the other between Nagavara and Airport.

The original plan of Namma Metro Phase II had only two metro lines, one 15.5 km line between Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield, 18.85 km line between R V Road and Bommasandra and 21.25 km line connecting Gottigere and Nagavara. The estimated total cost of Phase II project is Rs 26,405 crore. However, no mention was made about the metro line connecting K R Puram and Silk Board.

Phase II of Namma Metro project stretches for 72.1 km, for which the construction work began in November 2015. Land acquisition for the project is under progress. Over 60 per cent of the land required for the project was acquired by May end. BMRCL has set a deadline o 2020 to complete the project.

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