The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) just released their March 2016 newsletter which can be accessed here. As always, let’s take a look at some new views of the two underground stretches and then dive into analyzing the data contained within the newsletter.
The tunneling data in the newsletter was recorded at the start of the month and as such does not reflect recent progress made in the first 8 days of this month. However, since data from the February newsletter is available, a valid comparison can be made to see the progress made over the past month (February) with the month before (January).
Purple line – Tunneling on the Purple line’s 4.8 km underground section between Magadi Road and Cubbon Park was completed in March 2014 and trials have been underway since November 2015. After many announcements stating it’ll be operational in January, the BMRCL pushed the opening to March-end, but that also won’t be possible as (1) the station interiors and exteriors are far from complete and (2) BMRCL is yet to even file an application to the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) to inspect the line for safety purposes. As of March 9, there is no indication that BMRCL has received certificates for any of the 4 necessary prerequisites to inviting the CMRS.
Green line – The Green line’s tunnels from the North Ramp to the South Ramp are being constructed by a JV of Coastal & TTS with some help from CEC-CICI. Only 3 more tunnels are left to be completed. Here’s a map displaying the incomplete Green line’s underground section between the North Ramp & Chickpet on which 3 TBMs are currently working on:
Here’s a table which compares progress made by the 3 TBMs as per the data reported in the newsletters:
|TBM||Origin||Destination||Launch Date||Distance||Feb 1||Mar 1|
|Godavari||North Ramp||Majestic||May 2013||973m||687m||747m|
• The Krishna TBM made a breakthrough at Chickpet station on August 31 from the KR (City) Market station after a slow and tiring journey of 22 months. After being put through repairs for 112 days, the TBM was launched on December 22 towards Majestic for one final drive. In the month of February, it excavated an impressive 195 meters.
Distance Left – 474 meters
• The Kaveri TBM was launched from the Chickpet station in February 2015 and has covered only 18 meters since the February 2016 update. The reason for this includes hard rock and the precarious nature of buildings en-route to Majestic that had to be evacuated. At this poor rate of tunneling, the TBM is expected to reach Majestic only by July-August 2016.
Distance left – 154 meters
• The Godavari TBM had a new cutterhead installed on it in late July 2015 and restarted tunneling towards Majestic in mid September 2015. Since the February 2016 update, it has progressed by only 60m and has slowed down considerably since January in which it excavated 138 meters. At this rate of tunneling, the TBM will reach Majestic station in April-May 2016.
Distance left – 226 meters
While January was quite exceptional for the Coastal-TTS team, both Kaveri and Godavari have slowed down considerably in February. Picking up from January, TBM Krishna continued its excellent rate of advancement and made solid unprecedented progress.
As I noted in February, I wouldn’t get too carried away with Krishna’s progress. For those of us elephants that never forget – Kaveri on the parallel tunnel also started very fast with high advancement rates of 57m in March 2015 and 112m in April 2015 before running into hard rock/bolders and slowing down in the following months. Guess what? TBM Krishna is going to run into the same kind of geology and would require the same hyperbaric interventions at regular times to keep advancing along with grouting injections along its path.
My assessment from last month still holds true – If TBM Krishna is to take the same amount of time as TBM Kaveri to tunnel the parallel tunnel, then in all likelihood, tunneling on Phase 1’s underground section will only be completed by early to mid 2017. After taking into account the time it takes to lay the track bed, install electrical/signalling equipment, perform tests and have the line inspected, the entire 1st Phase of Bangalore’s Metro is most likely to be completely operational only in Q3/Q4 2017. Does anyone else share this assessment?
For more updates on Bangalore’s Metro, check out the Bangalore section of The Metro Rail Guy!