Bangalore Metro – February 2017 Phase 1 Update

Over this weekend, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) made their February 2017 newsletter available for everyone to see the progress made on the 42.3 km Phase 1 project, of which roughly 12 kms of the Green Line is yet to open up for commercial services, as well as the 72 km Phase 2 project which is still in its infancy. There are 2 things I’d like to specifically point out before diving into Phase 1’s images and data:

  1. In addition to NCC & IL&FS, now Soma Infrastructure has also cast their first pier in front of RV College of Engineering for the 4.869 km Reach 2B of the Purple Line’s 8.814 km western extension to Challeghata. Segment launching activities to build its viaduct are expected to commence in the summer.
  2. I get asked about the 17 km Silk Board – KR Puram line’s status a lot. The BMRCL in November 2016 completed all the necessary leg-work for it and is waiting for the state government’s cabinet to approve its Detailed Project Report (DPR). There’s a good chance it’ll be done prior to the 2018 State Legislative Assembly elections, but we’ll have to wait and watch. Furthermore, we are yet to see an announcement or blurb on the exact sources of corporate funding. Without either of those, the tendering stage for its construction cannot begin.

Coming back to Phase 1, here are some new images:

Scene above the Chickpet Station – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

KR Market Station – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

Majestic Station – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

Photo Copyright: BMRCL

Photo Copyright: BMRCL

In addition, I’d like everyone to take a good look at these images of Majestic Station’s South Shaft (view recent satellite imagery) which I shared yesterday on Twitter. This site is where TBMs Kaveri and Krishna made a breakthrough in June and September 2016, and its civil completion (followed by the back-filling of soil to cover it) is quite crucial. Workers are currently engaged in completing RCC work for the individual tunnels as well as laying the track-bed (slab/plinth) for the north-bound tunnel with the help of a concrete mixer. Once the track-bed is laid, then pending track-work for the north-bound line will be wrapped up.

Purple line –  Reach 1 connecting Baiyyappanahalli – MG Road stations opened in October 2011 followed by Reach 2 connecting Mysore Road – Magadi Road stations in November 2015. Tunneling work on the line’s 4.8 km underground section which connects Reach 1 with Reach 2, between Magadi Road – MG Road, started in May 2011 and got completed in March 2014 by the CEC-CICI JV. Following that, trial runs began in November 2015. The line was finally inaugurated on April 29 2016 and commercial operations started the next day at 6 am. A comprehensive history of the underground section from bidding to construction to testing can be viewed here.

Green line – The 12.4 km Nagasandra – Sampige Road section opened up in stages on March 1, 2014 and May 1, 2015. The line’s pending 12 km section consists of 2 distinct sections – (1) a 4 km underground section from Sampige Road Station to National College Station with 3 stations under construction by the Coastal-TTS JV, and (2) an 8 km elevated section from the National College Station to the Yelachenahalli Station with 8 stations built by NCC, IVRCL – CR 18 JV, L&T and JMC.

The Green line’s tunnels from the North Ramp (near Sampige Road station) to the South Ramp (near National College station) were constructed by a JV of Coastal – TTS with some help from the Robbins Company and the CEC-CICI JV. The line’s final breakthrough by TBM Krishna took place at the Majestic Station on September 23, 2016. In late-November 2016, BMRCL pulled a train through the up-line tunnel and on November 30 commenced trial runs between the long completed National College Station – Yelachenahalli section.

Pending section of the Green Line – view Bangalore Metro map & information

Current Status

For those unaware, the BMRCL and Karnataka Government are publicly targeting to open the Sampige Road – Yelachenahalli section in April 2017, but internally are working towards meeting another deadline as there’s clearly many more months to go before the line becomes ready, tested and certified fit for safe public use.

Here’s a progress update on the 2 new underground stations. Interestingly, some of the targets have changed this month (marked by ? below) and that puts a serious dent on the validity of the data reported in the previous editions of the newsletter.

Chickpet Station

January February Target
Concourse (Sqm) 9028  9028 9267
Sidewall (Cum) 4571  4312 4561?
Roof Slab (Sqm) 8543  9028 9766?
Ancillary
Building (Cum)
1310  1310 1656

KR/City Market Station

December February Target
Concourse (Sqm) N/A  N/A 9157
Sidewall (Cum) 4508  4670 4680?
Roof Slab (Sqm) 8799  9071 9361
Ancillary
Building (Cum)
1236  1354 1613

In the south-bound tunnel, track-work is complete and 3rd Rail installation for traction is in progress. If and when the BMRCL holds their big media event to mark the start of trial runs, then do expect them to run a manually operated train utilizing this south-bound tunnel’s line as the track-bed is still being laid for the north-bound tunnel – see the images above as well as this blurb from the newsletter:

Out of 4040 m of track 3200 m of track slab have been completed. Balance of track work is in progress and will be completed shortly. 

As some of you might have noticed, the BMRCL’s official Twitter handle has lately been extremely quiet about Phase 1’s progress, but busy in sharing Phase 2’s images. While some of those updates are brilliant in their own right, this strategy reflects their absolutely poor understanding of what the people of Bangalore need at this point of time and how they’re going to disappoint the locals once again in April.

As I said last month, like it or not – the Green Line’s pending 12 km section is heading towards a 2018 opening. If the BMRCL opens half-complete stations like it did on the Purple Line’s underground section, then a Q4 2017 opening is possible.

What are your thoughts? Any news/data points you’d like to bring to my attention?

For more updates, check out the Bangalore section of The Metro Rail Guy!

– TMRG

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

28 Responses to "Bangalore Metro – February 2017 Phase 1 Update"

  1. Srini says:

    TRMG, do you know the government spent money to advertise “March 2017 opening” behind auto rickshaws and buses? Such a waste of public money!!

    Reply
  2. Muthu says:

    Is it possible that they will start running trains after track work and signaling is complete while work is ongoing to cover the shaft on top? Anyway this doesn’t impact the movement of commuters into and outside the station right?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Hi, not possible. For underground lines, all shafts must be covered for safety reasons before any train movement with passengers take place. The CMRS will not issue a safety certificate if there’s still RCC work pending in or around the track area.

      For comparison, the contractor for the Purple Line started trial runs in November and covered the East Shaft up in January-Feb 2016. See historical imagery at TerraServer.

      Reply
  3. Chotothera says:

    Many thanks for the detailed update.

    There is a huge demand for the Byappanahalli-Whitefield section and we are eager for updates. From a layman’s eye, we see trees getting cut along the proposed route and land getting cleared, especially where the route is supposed to take the turns. Can we expect to hear some objective information pertaining to this section?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Hi, the Byappanahalli-Whitefield section consists of 2 civil packages. The last date for infra companies to submit bids is Feb 21 and 27. Each interested bidder’s qualification will be checked, followed by technical bid and then financial bid to determine the lowest bidder. The contractor is expected to be selected in Q3 (June-Sept) with construction work starting in Q4 (Oct-Dec).

      Reply
  4. GC says:

    Phase1 between National College and Yelachenahalli might be opened to public in April 2017. Usually takes 6 months from start of trial to inauguration.

    Reply
  5. Sumit says:

    Hi,

    Your evaluation of the work is great but I don’t think the satellite imagery is reliable enough to determine the exact current status as it is not updated very frequently. What you get to see might be quite an old data, may be a month or more. I can pin point locations in Bangalore right away where there is a difference of around 3 months or more. So, it is quite possible that those shafts might already be completed. May be I am being too optimistic :D.

    Reply
    • lina says:

      i think he used the satellite image as a reference point. The photos here are latest and clearly a lot of work is left.

      Reply
    • Srinidhi B S says:

      Sir,

      I appreciate you in being optimistic but at the same time pity you.

      Even after so many missed deadlines and knowing the pace at which our governments work, how can we imagine that the Metro Phase 1 will complete by April 2017 ?

      Reply
      • Sumit says:

        Relax. Just an expression, never said I am expecting it to be complete by April. Moreover, it’s just a thought and might be completely wrong. I was pretty much specific about those satellite images based conclusions rather than the overall status.

        Reply
  6. Oswald says:

    Just curious to know, how did they manage to get that concrete mixing truck in the tunnel below?
    @TMRG – Is there some other portion of the tunnel which needs to be covered still??

    Reply
  7. lina says:

    Oh wow, I might have to update even my estimate of Jan 2018. Good chance that the extensions to anjanapura and kengeri might get launched along with Phase 1

    Reply
  8. Bhanu says:

    Thanks for the detailed breakdown TMRG! 🙂 And all I can say is… WOW! It’s absolutely disgusting the way phase 1 metro has progressed in Bangalore with misleading opening dates for every single stretch till now, such blatant display of dishonesty towards public. Just what do you think is the reason behind this TMRG? Do the contractors not have enough manpower and machinery? There are no pending court cases for land acquisition for phase 1, no TBMs stuck anywhere, just what is stopping them from finishing it up then? Do contractors try to save money by employing fewer workers? A speedy completion would help the image of the state government a lot too, I wonder why don’t they emphasise on it.

    Reply
  9. sanjay says:

    Absolutely correct analysis. This is a complete joke. A simple historical analysis of timelines for E-W UG will itself make clear that running a train in 2017 is a stretch goal. Q1 2018 appears to be more feasible.

    Reply
  10. Shashidhar says:

    Not sure why is Central govt which is funding part of the BMRCL not removing the director , BMRCL has messed up everything , they don’t even how to plan to launch sections of metro , same mistakes are repeated in phase 2 , UG tendering not called as usual it will be last to be started and it will ages for them to complete

    Going by BMRCL track record UG line would be complete by 2030 , so using Nagawara line for Airport and building airport section does not make any sense .

    India 3rd largest Airport won’t have a metro even 2030 !!!!

    Reply
    • Akshay Mathur says:

      That airport in itself is on the fucking wrong side! It should have been built between Bangalore & Mysore, two big cities being served by the airport.

      Reply
    • Shouqatali says:

      In Karnataka the govt is always opposite party compared at the center. So central govt wont interfere as they will be using BMRCL as blaming points for the next year election.

      Apart from this, I feel really saddened by the fact that south line (from national college-yelachanahalli) was ready almost 4 years back. Such an amount investment just lying idle from past 4 years with no use to public. It hurts me a lot. I just wonder sometime whether same feelings come to either BMRCL or State Govt.

      If I had planned metro, KR-puram to silk board would be my first point of execution. This was not in the plan infact. It came into picture when pressure came from lots of companies onto our chief minister. People who were never in the Bangalore traffic are planning for our metro!

      Our politicians are feeling congested while coming from airport and hence they are proposing steel flyover!!!

      And Nagwara-Gottigere!!! better we forget about this. It has the longest underground work. If at all it gets finished (only tunneling) by 2030 then we would be lucky.

      Reply
  11. Prakash Magal says:

    Looking at the status of underground stations it appears unlikely that the south line can be inaugurated in April! Even the basic civil structures are not ready and a lot of concrete work is pending. I don’t know why completion of these underground stations was delayed so much. They could have kept all stations ready much earlier. This is a usual story wherein dates will be postponed several times.

    Reply
  12. Funlover says:

    Along with focussing on the pending construction, its equally important to know if BMRCL is maintaining the already built and operational sections with all due diligence. Else, by the time phase 1 or 2 is even completed, we will have crumbling infrastructure. @TMRG: do you know if they are doing regular checks on the pillars and viaducts, and the stations besides maintenance of trains and tracks ?

    Reply
    • BANGALORE JOKER says:

      Well Said,

      It is a well known fact that Bangalore’s infrastructure is crumbling and traffic is increasing.

      By the time Metro opens, it should not happen that the existing pillars constructed collapses.

      Reply
  13. KRISHNAN says:

    BMRCL mines private companies along route to partially fund ORR metro line
    ———————————————–
    http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/bmrcl-mines-private-companies-along-route-to-partially-fund-orr-metro-line/articleshow/57239975.cms

    Reply
  14. Sumanth says:

    Dubai and Bangalore metro started at the same time. They have completed still we are lymping… We should have hired chainese….they would have handed over couple oc years back

    Reply

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