According to sources, work has come to a standstill near the railway track at Benniganahalli.
“Namma Metro’s viaduct will cross over the track near Benniganahalli. It will be around 20m above the ground. But South Western Railway insisted on open web girders instead of composite girders for crossover, which has delayed the work,” a source said.
Confirming this to TOI, Bengaluru divisional railway manager Shyam Singh said, “This is due to technical requirement.” However, he maintained there has been no delay on their part.
SWR chief PRO Aneesh Hegde said BMRCL sought nod for the viaduct to cross over the railway line in December 2019. “We received the general arrangement drawing from BMRCL for an open web girder with a 65m span in June 2021. SWR approved the GAD on November 16 and permission was given to take up work.”
Another railway official said work will be completed without disrupting passenger services and steps will be taken to avoid electrocution and fall of material from the viaduct above the operational line. BL Yashwanth Chavan, chief PRO of BMRCL, said, “It’s possible to use open web girders for crossover and it is also in the contract. We will complete the work by July-August 2022.”
Changes made to design
However, another official said in addition to this, BMRCL had changed the designs of piers/portal beams at Tin Factory to accommodate ORR Metro viaducts. “The entire Byappanahalli-Whitefield civil work will be over only by December 2022.”
Following the civil work, BMRCL has to complete laying of tracks, traction and signalling work, station interior work, trial run of trains, inspection by the commissioner of Metro rail safety and more before commissioning the section. Chavan said design changes were made to accommodate the ORR Metro viaduct within available areas. BMRCL statistics show 100% of civil work between Seetharampalya (Visvesvaraya industrial area) and Whitefield has been completed. For Byappanahalli-Seetharampalya section, it is at 97% so far. BMRCL cannot begin commercial operations between Seetharampalya and Whitefield as Kadugodi depot work is being held up.
Work on Byappanahalli-KR Puram section was delayed by design changes and a PIL against felling trees. In 2017, BMRCL awarded the contract for the 15km Byappanahalli-Whitefield elevated corridor to ITD Cementation India Ltd and it was supposed to be ready by 2020. The deadline was extended to August 2021, then to June 2022, and later December 2022.