Green zones may see resumption of construction for Namma Metro

Namma Metro wants to keep its date with the Kengeri and Kanakapura Road stretches which are due for inauguration in 2020. And to fulfil its commitment, Metro is asking its workers and contractors to be ready for resumption of construction works.

The state government is about to identify green zones where limited activity may be allowed after today, April 20. “We have advised the companies to be ready. Construction activities will be carried out only in green zones. The state government will take a decision on which areas can the work be taken up,” Ajay Seth, Managing Director at BMRCL said.

It’s learnt that the corporation has written a letter to Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar seeking clarity. As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the continuation of work in construction projects where workers are available on site and no workers are required to be brought in from outside is permitted to take place during the lockdown from April 20. A contractor working for Namma Metro said that they have received oral instructions from BMRCL to be ready.

“Work might start with certain conditions. As we are also dependent on a lot of support services including steel, cement and equipment, we have also asked for clarity from the Namma Metro,” he said. He added all the migrant labourers working for the company are still in the City.

Many government agencies including Namma Metro, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Bengaluru International Airport Ltd (BIAL) have undertaken a number of projects worth several crores but work was stopped soon after the state government announced a lockdown on March 24. BBMP Commissioner BH Anil Kumar said that he has instructed officers to make preparations for resuming infrastructure work from April 20.

Officials believe works such as bus priority lane, maintenance of many flyovers and completion of nearly-completed projects can be taken up during the lockdown period. Citizen activist Tara Krishnaswamy said the government should definitely find a way to get the economic activity back on track. “The entire state can not be shut if the cases are only about 300. There could be a controlled lockdown with adequate precautionary measures in place,” she said.

A source in the government said that they are keen to start the work without compromising on physical distancing. “This is the thinking of the government. The key thing is not just to restart the construction activity in green zones but make sure the labourer, who is part of the project, is not coming from a ward which is in a red zone,” he said. As on April 17, the BBMP has identified 30 wards as hotspots zones with at least one Covid-19 positive case in the last 28 days.

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