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Ray of hope for Bengaluru: Chennai metro may wake BBMP from slumber

By Pallavi

The Chennai metro rail launch has scratched the unhealed wounds of Bengalurians. Even though the flagging off of the Chennai metro was delayed due to the Jaya fiasco, it did not take the state more than a few months to bounce back to action.

Bengaluru still lags behind, especially if we consider the fact that the BBMP officials had made their first official declaration of the completion of the first phase by May 2012.

Bengaluru metro

Chennai metro brings hope

Given the kind of relationship that both the states share-be it regarding Kauvery water distribution or the Jayalalitaa disproportionate case- Karnataka government may finally wake up to the woes of the citizens here.

Ironically, the Silicon Valley of India was limping to work even when the state had a minister- D.V. Sadananda Gowda- in the cabinet as the Railway minister between 26 May 2014 and 9 Nov 2014. Karnataka was unsuccessful in getting appropriate sanctions for the projects even then.

In fact, even as we remember the railway budget earlier in May-June last year, there was no mention of the Bengaluru Metro and the funds allocated to it. Now that the competitor state is progressing with jet speed, the authorities may wake up from their slumber and speed things fast for the sake of winning the battle of the first Phase at least.

Why the delay

There were no definite answers lately, but in the month of May, 2015, there we not-so-celebrated reports of the Bengaluru Metro Rail reaching a milestone with one of its underground tunnel section finally complete.

Delay in laying the tunnel was one of reasons why the metro projects were running behind the schedule. Now, things are said to be looking up as phase one will complete by the end of this year.

[Read: J Jayalalithaa to launch Chennai Metro Rail today]

Test runs from Cubbon Road Station to Magadi Road station are likely to begin soon. While the eastern corridor, running from Baiyappanahalli to Mahatma Gandhi Road is partially completed, the Western corridor has been held up due to the incomplete tunnel.

Pradeep Singh Kharola, the Managing Director of Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, said in May "The trials will take about three months to complete and then it will be open to public. The East-West corridor is about 20 kilometres long including the tunnel. We are targeting a full completion of phase one by November this year."

[Read: Bangalore: Northern corridor to get metro by Dec]

He attributes the delay to the rocks on which Bengaluru is built. "The rocks are extremely hard and it was a challenge for our engineers to negotiate them. Some of the best machines in the world have broken down. Boring of these tunnels was a big challenge and our engineers can say they have achieved a great feat," he said when the completed tunnel was shown.

Bengaluru has the oldest igneous rocks in the country.

Whatever the case is, BBMP has disappointed its citizens for the past 3 years, delaying the projects.

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