Bengaluru Metro takes nearly 5 years to award 14 civil works of Phase II

Bengaluru: After dilly dallying for over four years, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) has finally awarded the contracts for one of the most complex construction projects of 72-km Phase II. Such is the poor planning that the Bengaluru Metro had started tendering the elevated portions of Phase II on priority, while the underground sections — usually known for taking a longer time —  were the last ones to be tendered out.

On Thursday, the Bengaluru Metro announced that they issued letters of acceptance to the two construction companies — Mumbai-based AFCONS Infrastructure, a Shapoorji Pallonji Group firm and Kolkata-based ITD Cementation India Ltd — which had earlier emerged the lowest bidders for Rs 1,526.33 crore Package 1 and Rs 1,771.25 crore Package 4 contract respectively.

The 3.65-km Package 1 and 4.59-km Package 4 works are part of the Gottigere – Nagawara Metro corridor (Reach 6), consisting of 13.92km underground section and another 7-km stretch is elevated. The contract to build the remaining portions of the underground stretch — 2.76-km Package 2 and 2.88-km Package 3 — was awarded to the construction arm of L&T at a cost of Rs 1,329 crore and Rs 1,299 crore respectively. 

The Bengaluru Metro has set a three-year target to complete the construction of underground contracts, while the past records show that the contractors have taken not less than five years to complete the work, citing “complex geological conditions” as one of the main excuses.  

First contract of Phase II

The first construction contract of 72-km Phase II network, divided into several packages for speederi construction, was awarded for a 3.94-km Metro corridor between Nayandahalli and Pattanagere in April 2015. Work on this stretch is nearing completion with commercial operations expected to begin in December next year. 

Currently, the Bengaluru Metro has engaged eight contractors such as ITD Cementation India, NCC Ltd, IL&FS Engineering, Soma Enterprises Ltd, Simplex Infrastructure Ltd, HCC-URC (JV), Afcons Infrastructure Ltd and L&T to construct various phases of 72-km Phase II. While ITD Cementation has bagged five contracts, Simplex Infra and L&T have bagged two each.

The Bengaluru Metro took over five years to float and award tenders for 14 civil works of 72-km Phase II network.