Officials claim no metro workers have left the city and phase-2 work is on schedule
The unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases followed by the partial lockdown imposed by the State government has impacted land acquisition for Namma Metro projects, especially for the proposed airport line.
In some stretches, tenants, both commercial and residential, have sought more time to vacate buildings citing lockdown restrictions and fear of contracting the virus. Given the situation, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) officials have asked them not to vacate immediately.
Just last month, the Union Cabinet had approved Namma Metro’s Phase 2A (ORR Line) and Phase 2B (Airport line) totalling to a length of 58.19 km at an estimated cost of ₹14,788.1 crore. BMRCL aims to acquire land required before awarding tender.
A senior BMRCL official said: “For the airport line from K.R. Puram to the Trumpet, we have reached the advanced stage of acquisition. On some stretches, paying compensation to the landowners has been impacted.” Of the required 3.13 lakh square metres of land, 2.71 lakh square metres have been handed over to the engineering section.
For the ORR line from Central Silk Board to K.R. Puram, the 60,256 square metres of land is already in possession of BMRCL. For the ongoing phase 2, 2A & B, BMRCL has paid over ₹8,000 crore to acquire land that includes ₹1,545 crore for the ORR-Airport line. A total of 3,006 properties have been acquired.
BMRCL has claimed that the lockdown has had no impact on ongoing phase 2 metro work. As many as 8,000 construction workers stationed at sites across the city are from other parts of Karnataka and India.
B.L. Yeshwanth Chavan, chief PRO of BMRCL, told The Hindu that metro construction workers continue to report to duty. “Trial runs on the extended Purple Line from Mysuru Road to Kengeri are being held as per plan. In the first week of April, BMRCL started trial runs on this line, and plans to open it by June,” said Mr. Chavan.
COVID Care Centre for staff
The BMRCL on Tuesday announced that it has set up a 100-bed COVID Care Centre for employees and construction workers.
A hotel at Kudlu Gate, Hosur Main Road, has been taken over to set up the facility, equipped with oxygen concentrators and cylinders. Arrangements have been made for round-the-clock medical care. “The BMRCL has tied up with nearby hospitals to shift patients if they require critical care,” stated a press release.