Bengaluru Infra Updates: K.R. Puram-Whitefield Metro By March,Fresh Tender For Ejipura Flyover, Quarry Strike Delays Suranjan Das Road Underpass Opening

Swarajya Staff

Jan 09, 2023, 01:43 PM | Updated 01:46 PM IST

Namma Metro: Pic Courtesy K.Vivek
Namma Metro: Pic Courtesy K.Vivek

1. Safety Inspection Of K.R. Puram To Whitefield Metro Between February 16 and 20, Set To Open To Public By March

With the safety inspection of the Namma Metro line from K.R. Puram to Whitefield likely to occur between February 16 and 20, the 13.5 km stretch of the 15 km line is set to be inaugurated in March ahead of the state assembly elections.

The K.R. Puram to Whitefield line is a part of the Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield line (Purple line extension) under Phase II.

In October 2022, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), the executing agency for the project, commenced the trial runs on a 3.5 km stretch between Whitefield and Pattandur Agrahara. The trial runs were subsequently extended up to K.R. Puram.

BMRCL is proposing to open the remaining 2 km stretch (K.R. Puram to Baiyappanahalli) by June this year.

While most of the civil work on the stretch is complete, construction of an open web girder over the railway track near Benniganahalli, which needs to be executed in tandem with Railway authorities, is pending. BMRCL expects the missing part to be completed by the end of this month.

Until the entire stretch is open, the BMRCL will operate bi-directional feeder services between Baiyappanahalli and K.R. Puram to benefit metro passengers.

Once the Whitefield line becomes completely operational, the metro ridership is expected to increase dramatically by 3.5 lakhs as it seamlessly connects Whitefield, a major IT corridor and residential hub, with most parts of Bengaluru.

Currently, the Purple Line is 25.7 km long and spans 23 stations from Kengeri in the southwest to Baiyappanahalli. The Purple Line is mostly elevated, with 17 elevated stations, five underground stations and one at-grade station. The Line passes through central business districts of the city, including M.G. Road, Vidhana Soudha and Majestic station, an interchange station between Purple and Green Lines.

2. Ejipura Flyover: BBMP Floats Fresh Tender To Complete Pending Work

The work on the proposed Ejipura Main Road to Kendriya Sadan Flyover in the upscale Koramangala locality of Bengaluru is set to finally resume with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) floating a fresh tender to complete the 2.5km elevated structure.

The BBMP has floated a tender worth Rs 144 crore to complete the pending works related to the Ejipura flyover(estimated to be 53%), which stalled for about three years.

The project has come to a grinding half for over two years due to the contractor's bankruptcy and civic authorities' inability to resolve the consequent legal wrangle.

Legal complications around floating a fresh tender were resolved after the Karnataka High Court disposed of a PIL contending delay in completing the Ejipura flyover and directed BBMP to take an independent decision on the stalled project after discussing with the defaulting contractor Simplex Infrastructure Ltd.

In February 2022, the high court directed the BBMP to initiate criminal proceedings against the company for misappropriating funds and to cancel the contract.

Following the high court's direction, the state government issued an order in March 2022 cancelling the tender awarded to Simplex for constructing the flyover. The government also directed the BBMP to float a fresh tender for the remainder of the work within the project cost of ₹204 crores as per norms of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act.

It has been over five years since the tender for the ₹204 crore project was awarded to Simplex, but only 47% progress has been achieved despite deadlines being revised twice, in April 2020 and May 2021.

The construction of the 2.5-km-long flyover began in May 2017 with a 30-month deadline.

The flyover, upon completion, will cut travel time by 30 minutes as commuters can avoid many traffic signals in Koramangala, Ejipura and surrounding areas to reach Sarjapura Road and Hosur Road. The flyover will help commuters avoid major traffic junctions at Ejipura main road, Inner Ring Road, Sony World Signal and Kendriya Sadan junction, apart from other areas in Koramangala.

The civic body has also reportedly settled the pending dues of Rs 75 crore to Simplex.

3. Old Airport Signal Free Corridor: Suranjan Das Road Underpass Opening Delayed As Quarry Strike Disrupts Infrastructure Projects

The underpass to ease traffic on HAL, Marathahalli and Suranjan Das Road at HAL Junction, which was set to be opened to the public on Sankranti, could face a delay due to an ongoing quarry strike in the state.

The New Indian Express quoted Vinayak Sugur, Chief Engineer, BBMP Projects, as saying the HAL-Suranjandas Road underpass project lined up for Sankranti's inauguration could now be delayed.

"Because of the agitation, not a single cubic metre of concrete is available and opening up of the underpass will be delayed." he said

The underpass is part of the proposed 17.5-km signal-free corridor on Old Airport Road. The Rs 135-crore project connects the Command Hospital (ASC Centre) with Hope Farm Junction via three underpasses at Kundanahalli, Suranjan Das Junction and Wind Tunnel Junction. The project aims to reduce travel time for the public commuting between Domlur and Marathahalli and offer relief to motorists using Old Airport Road, which has frequent traffic snarls. 

The project was delayed due to legal issues concerning tree-cutting and land issues with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). BBMP managed to secure 3,100 sq mt of additional space through transferable development rights (TDR) from HAL. 

According to BBMP, the construction of the third underpass at ISRO-Wind Tunnel Road is awaiting permission from the traffic police department. The police will likely give permission only after BBMP completes work on alternate Old Madras and 100 Feet Road in Indiranagar.

"The BBMP is already doing development work on the Old Madras Road. If work on the ISRO-Wind Tunnel Road junction begins now, it might lead to traffic problems. After finishing the Old Madras Road work, BBMP can take up the underpass work," The New Indian Express quoted city top traffic cop MA Saleem as saying.

4. KSRTC To Begin Operate A.C. E.V. Buses On 6 Intercity Routes Beginning February

 Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will ply air-conditioned electric buses from Bengaluru to Mysuru, Madikeri, Virajpete, Chikkamagaluru, Davanagere and Shivamogga. The operations will begin by February. 

The A.C. bus comes with 43 push-back seats and can travel up to 300 km on a single charge, along with onboard and offboard charging facilities. 

The 12-m e-bus will be operated by private company Olectra on a gross cost contract basis. 

The induction of electric buses into KSRTC is under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME II) project of the central government.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.