Don’t be surprised if the quiet of the night is broken by the drilling and noise of heavy machinery as Namma Metro worksites come to life. After almost a month, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has resumed Phase II of Namma Metro work at 45 locations in the city. On Friday night, nearly 1,350 construction workers reported back to work.
Metro workers wearing masks were seen doing various works such as track linking, viaduct launching and shuttering work on the elevated line between IIM-B and Hulimavu metro station. The demolition of Jayadeva flyover and work in casting yards has also begun.
“Our people have also started preliminary works of assembling tunnel boring machines recently imported from China. No works have been taken in any work sites that come under containment zones declared by the BBMP,” said a BMRCL official.
Like other agencies in the city, after the lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, BMRCL had stopped construction and other related work, but is probably the first agency in the city to resume work before restrictions are lifted on May 3.
Managing Director Ajay Seth said that measures have been put in place on the sites to ensure that people working there can maintain physical distance from each other. This also includes mandatory temperature checks. “Wherever it is convenient to resume the work, we have done that,” said Mr. Seth.
Ensuring that precautionary measures are being followed is not the only challenge that the metro rail corporation is facing. “We are also facing certain limitations such as the supply chains for cement, steel and other raw materials are not fully operational. We have taken these factors into consideration,” he added.
Another 7,000 workers are on standby. “We may need a couple more days to put everything in place, after which the required number of people will be deployed at the sites.”
The year 2020 is crucial for the BMRCL as it has a deadline to commission commercial operations of extended metro lines on Kanakapura Road (August 15) and Mysuru Road (November1). The BMRCL is hoping to make up for lost time.
When asked whether the pandemic would affect deadlines, a senior BMRCL official said it was too early to comment on whether the lockdown would affect deadlines for the completion of the underground line and other elevated lines. “We have resumed work now by taking a lot of precautions. It will take some to assess how they will progress, after which we can draw some conclusions on deadlines, but not now,” said the official.
Flyover demolition during the day
The demolition of Jayadeva flyover resumed on Friday night. The agency is planning to carry out demolition work during the day as well to advance completion.
The flyover is being demolished to make way for the construction of a road-cum-metro flyover and an interchange metro station.