Work on the underground line of Metro Phase-II began on Tuesday (28th April 2020) with the lowering of the nearly 100-tonne cutter head of the first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), using a massive crane. The machine, which is being assembled, will bore through the earth between Cantonment Metro Station and Shivaji Nagar Metro Station.
This 1.2-km stretch forms part of the 13.9-km underground line from Nagawara to Dairy Circle, and is part of Reach 6 . L&T, ITD Cementation and Afcons have been contracted for the underground line. “All components of this TBM, named Urja, reached Chennai from China, a couple of months ago and were brought to the site in March. Many parts have already been despatched nearly 50 feet underground, but the cutter head is the most crucial component. It could not be lowered earlier due to the lockdown. Assembling all the parts will take 15 to 20 days, and boring will start after that”, BMRCL executive director Hega Reddy said.
The second TBM from China is now at Shivaji Nagar Metro Station. “In all, nine TBMs are being used for the underground line, with four coming from China. Two reached Bengaluru while two have arrived in Chennai. Each machine costs nearly Rs 70 crore, inclusive of transportation charges,” he said.
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) has resumed work on at least 71 construction sites including works in Whitefield, Kanakapura Road and Mysore road. The state government had exempted Namma Metro from the lockdown earlier this week with the condition that workers should not be brought to the construction site from Covid-19 affected areas of the city. The same order, however, did not allow the resumption of any other works.
Covid-19 scare temporarily halts Metro work on Bannerghatta Road
Work at a Bangalore Metro site on Bannerghatta Road was suspended yesterday (Thursday, 30th April 2020) after a labourer was suspected to have contracted Covid-19. BMRCL sources said the migrant labourer, employed at their site on Bannerghatta Road (Gottigere-Swagath Road Cross elevated section of Phase 2), showed symptoms of Covid-19.
“He was suffering from high fever and fatigue, which caused panic among other employees. Work was immediately suspended and he was taken to a hospital,” said a source. BMRCL managing director Ajay Seth said work on the section where the man was working was halted as a precautionary measure. “He tested negative for Covid-19. The work will resume on Friday,” he said.
As many as 2,051 migrant labourers are working at 73 Metro sites across the city. They include Gottigere-Swagath Road Cross elevated section, Jayadeva flyover, Vellara Junction-Pottery Town underground section, Yelachenahalli-Anjanapura Township, Mysuru Road-Kengeri section and RV Road-Bommasandra.
BMRCL officials said they have intensified precautionary steps after the incident. “We have asked contractors to ensure social distancing and conduct basic health checks and also to immediately alert higher-ups if any worker shows Covid-19 symptoms,” said an official. Officials said work is progressing in stages.
“There is no shortage of raw material as of now since contractors are supposed to keep stocks for three to six months. The supply chain will slowly get back to normal after the lockdown is lifted,” said an official. BMRCL sources said they ensured contractors paid salaries of migrant workers. However, there are complaints that roofing workers on Kengeri and Kanakapura stretches have not been paid by sub-contractors yet. Officials said they will look into the issue.