BMRCL awaits Centre’s approval for ORR, Airport Metro lines

Bengaluru: The end of another year is fast approaching but the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) is yet to get a green signal from the Central Government for two important Metro projects. For now, the 18-km KR Puram – Central Silk Board (Phase II-A) and the 38-km KR Puram – Kempegowda International Airport (Phase II-B) Metro projects have been stuck with no progress.

Officials were planning to float tenders for the civil works by September this year and award the contract by the end of 2019-20 financial year. Sources in the BMRCL said that they are still waiting for the approval from the Centre.

The BMRCL management, it’s learnt, has kept tender documents ready and is also in touch with international lenders to ensure there is no loss of time once the projects get clearance from the Centre.

The revised detailed project report (DPR) of the 18-km KR Puram – Central Silk Board Metro corridor — which was prepared after scrapping the first tenders in 2018 — was approved by the state government on January 24, 2019. The cost of the project shot up from Rs 4,202 crore (as per the 2017 estimates) to Rs 5,994 crore, an increase of 43%.

Another important project that proposes Metro connectivity to the Kempegowda International Airport from Bengaluru is also awaiting clearance from the Centre. The 38-km project, which is an extension from the proposed KR Puram Metro station, was approved by the State Government at a cost of Rs 10,584 crore. The corridor consists of 17 Metro stations.

In line with the 2017 Metro policy, the BMRCL is expecting a share of about 17% of the total project cost from the Central Government in the form of equity and sub-ordinate debt. The State government has already agreed to give about 30% of the project cost, including the land acquisition cost. The BMRCL will raise the remaining funds from long-term lenders as well as through innovative financing mechanisms such as advertising, station naming rights etc.

As per the new deadline, both the projects are scheduled to complete by 2024-25.