Bangalore Metro – December 2016 Phase 1 Update

As the pre-construction tendering stage of the 72 km Phase 2 hots up with new notices inviting bids for construction, it’s a good time to visit the progress made on the 42.3 km Phase 1 project where roughly 12 kms of the Green Line is yet to open up for commercial services. To aid that, here are relevant excerpts/tidbits extracted from BMRCL’s December 2016 newsletter which includes images and data recorded up till December 1.

As always, let’s first take a look at some new snaps of the underground section, and then dive into analyzing the data for Phase 1:

Civil work in progress at Chickpet Station – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

View of Chickpet Station’s box – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

Chickpet Station – “Base slab of 4490 Sqm is completed. Side wall (Base slab to Concourse slab) of 4105 cum is completed. Concourse slab of 8792 Sqm completed out of 9267 Sqm. Sidewall (Concourse to Roof) of 4495 Cum completed out of 4788 Cum. Roof Slab of 8429 Sqm completed out of 9565 Sqm. Ancillary Building of 1264 Cum is completed out of 1656 Cum.”

Finishing work in progress at KR Market Station – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

Customer care/Ticketing booth at KR Market Station – Photo Copyright: BMRCL

KR/City Market – “Side wall (Base Slab to Concourse Slab) of 5818 Cum is completed. Concourse slab of 9054 Sqm is completed out of 9179 Sqm. Sidewall (Concourse to Roof) of 4483 Cum completed out of 4629 Cum. Roof slab of 8799 Sqm is completed out of 9361 Sqm. Ancillary Building of 970 Cum is completed out of 1613 Cum”

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

The above images speak for themselves. The glare seen in both stations’ images are caused by open roof slabs which, besides the concourse level, still need to be patched up. It’s a similar story out at the Majestic Station’s north and south shafts where 3 TBMs arrived earlier this year. Inside the tunnels, only track-work on the south-bound section has been completed which allowed trains to be brought to Reach 4’s National College Station. On the parallel north-bound section, the newsletter reports that 320m of tracks have been laid out of 4000m. The installation of the 3rd rail traction system, signalling and telecommunication equipment will begin only after these works are completed.

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 we get closer to April, expect them to announce a new deadline which will hopefully be the last of Phase 1’s deliberately misleading deadlines. Old habits die hard though – they’ve already ludicrously started claiming they’ll open a bulk of Phase 2 by mid 2019 even though construction work on the Whitefield extension of the Purple Line, BIEC extension of the Green Line and RV Road – Bommasandra line will begin only in Q4 2017.

The BMRCL’s plan of commencing operations on Phase 1’s pending stretches is still pretty vague (will they first start operations on the elevated stretch as a face-saver or the entire line together?) and the organization’s PR department hasn’t been reliable or consistent with what other BMRCL officials have claimed. Either way, I’m still expecting commercial operations on the entire Phase 1 to commence only in Q4 2017.

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!


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

28 Responses to "Bangalore Metro – December 2016 Phase 1 Update"

  1. BBC says:

    Bigger & better in the year 2030? Damn you Nidraramiah & Pradeep Kharola.. Nidraramiah very well knows that he will be out in the next election.. So “Kehne mein kya jaata hai”

    It seems that Metros can be built on time, only if Sreedharan is involved..

  2. Venkat says:

    Thanks TMRG for the post-mortem of the dead body that is Namma Metro Phase 1.
    I am one of those folks who reside in the completed but unused corridor of Phase 1 and longingly look at those pillars everyday. What a waste!!!

  3. Vijay says:

    Thanks TMRG for analysing the December reports. My news reading the BMRCL newsletter is not complete unless I read your analysis, which are more realistic.

    Request you to please analyse the reports once they are out in BMRCL website.


    • TMRG says:

      I was traveling when this newsletter came out, but will definitely try to post right after it comes out next month 😀

  4. Swaroop says:

    Can they really start operations on elevated stretch of southern green line alone without a depot on that stretch?

    P.S. Sincere thanks to TMRG for aggregating the info and providing your own analysis. The effort that you put into these posts and updates are highly appreciated.

    • sonu says:

      Yes, Earlier they had started operation in Mysore road -magadi road stretch.

      • TMRG says:

        Just to add – once the underground line was powered up, trains on R2 (Mysore road – Magadi road) arrived in the mornings and then went back to the Byp’halli depot in the nights. Since the BMRCL has done this before, there’s a good chance they’ll repeat it for R4 (National College – Yelachenahalli) while the underground stretch gets ready. Let’s see.

        • Shripad says:

          any idea, when the under ground lines will be powered up in Green line ? By April 2017 ?

          BTW, any input on status of trial run on elevated section of Green line ongoing now ?

  5. lina says:

    testing on the green line section between national college and yelachenahalli seems to be in full swing. I have a feeling that they might just open up that section to shut the public up. It will be pretty useless but atleast the government can show off.

    Like you say, I dont see them opening this before december 2017. and my estimate has always been Jan 2018

    • sonu says:

      yes , they will not be any hurry. They will open a section and rest in 2018 as we have state election due in 2018

    • TMRG says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if this slips into 2018 territory. If does, you’ll get a special mention when the line opens up.

      • lina says:

        hehe. sad state of affairs really. everyday it is a struggle for me to get from jayanagar to mg road. i take a bus from right under the south end metro station. right now I take a bus that goes near sir viweswaraya station and take the purple line. Coming back is more of a pain. Ofcourse BMTCs lack of interconnecting routes adds to these problems.

        Its all fun talking about this, but just imagine the total amount of time wasted by people like me. I feel sad.

  6. Yelsin says:

    Phase 1 of green line south part is built till yelachenahalli . hereafter one kilometer we reach konankunte cross(which is a part of phase 2) which is a link road bw bannerghatta road and kengeri lakhs of people travel by bus or other means . if this station (konankunte cross) is built very fast people from b g road will start coming towards this station to reach either majestic or peenya will be very easier.

  7. Shashidhar says:

    As usual BMRCL is bad in their planning , 8KM of completed Elevated Metro from National College to Yelachenahalli is idle for last few years .

    BMRCL’s incompetent is shown in above pictures, why are stations not complete , lets agree that tunneling went out of deadlines and terrain was bad , but whats wrong with stations why is taking so much time to build these stations , these UG stations were scheduled to be completed 2 years back and yet still they are not complete

    • TMRG says:

      Exactly. At this point, it would have been understandable to have an open TBM shaft north of Chickpet Station from where Krishna was deployed towards Majestic, but the progress within and around the stations itself has been outrageous.

      • Pavan says:

        What’s the likely cause? I am not aware of the details of the tender process but if a construction company was awarded the contract, why is the work in the stations not complete? And, if the work isn’t complete after delays without any apparent cause, why are the contractors being paid? Are there no clauses in the contract to handle such delays? Who approves the excess money that is to be paid to the contractors? Are there no audits? If there are, are such reports public? Or is all this information available and is it just our press/reporters that didn’t do enough? Is there anything we can do as citizens to help with accountability / transparency in these projects. I hate to just keep expressing my disappointment and moving on, again and again.

        Now, that we are starting Phase 2, can we ban such construction companies from public infrastructure tenders? Any clauses in the contracts that protect against runoff delays?

        • TMRG says:

          Hi, there’s nothing in BMRCL’s PH1 tender documents or bidding parameters that penalizes (or awards) contractors for their performance.

          I’m sure the BMRCL has their own internal audits and reports, but nothing has been made public. When such a situation arises, metro orgs usually remove the contractor entirely or from a portion, and then rebid the ‘balance’ part; DMRC did that recently in PH3 as well as in Kochi. CMRL did that last year with 2 underground packages. It’s a time consuming & costly process, so the BMRCL probably doesn’t want to go down that path having come so far.

          If they change PH2’s bidding rules and make them more stringent, then that’ll instantly disqualify vague and unknown contractors.

          • Pavan says:

            Wow, nothing in the contracts for an eventuality of bad performance! IANAL, but that almost sounds like a boilerplate provision in contracts.

            I hope, as you mention, they change PH2’s bidding rules and make them more stringent. Or perhaps this is where lobbying / corruption comes into play.

            I wonder if RTI can be used to make internal audits and reports public. I will try and look up more information on how this works, hopefully we can get some transparency and accountability in BMRCL and end these recurring delays.

    • lina says:

      excellent observation.

  8. abdul aziz says:


  9. citizen says:

    Thanks TMRG,
    It is very clear from the images that Phase 1 will take more than one year for sure and April fool remains a joke. May be the year was a misprint and it was 2018 and not 2017.

    One one side we have Delhi metro people who used 30 TBM and finished 80 km ( 40 x 2 ) tunnel at record time and on the other side we have our great team of jokers.

  10. krishnan says:

    Hi TMRG

    Do you think it is possible that if BMRCL fixes just the tracks then they can open the metro services.
    If we have say 3 stations , A, B ,C. Do we have any possibility of metro train from A to C with no stoppage at B as B station is not complete.

    The main issue will be to get safety certificate for such a route but it can benefit lakhs of people who are eagerly waiting to travel from Banashankari / JP nagar to Peenya.

  11. Sriharsha says:

    Forget the under ground section. Hope they push for the other lines.its possible to close the extended sections fast.

  12. Guru says:

    I started using the purple line from Mysore Road to Byappanahalli from the day it started operations as I travelled from KS Town to EPIP everyday. It’s been a mixed bag since the pain was always felt to & from Byappanahalli to EPIP, but for long range travelers like me it cut down daily travel times by 90 minutes some days! I have moved abroad since October but I longingly follow all updates on your website and I hope that the Namma Metro (which I’m proud to have used albeit for a brief period) helps the citizens of Bengaluru for many decades to come. Public transport is the only way a megalopolis like Bengaluru will survive.

  13. Raghul Shankar says:

    Where would be the exact location of proposed Anjanapura Cross Road Metro station, and when we could see the metro flying.


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