Namma Metro Work Hit by Exodus of Migrants

One Fourth of the Namma Metro Workers are on their way out to their home towns and villages in UP, MP, Jharkhand, Assam, West Bengal and Odisha. Since migrant workers dominate the 6500 odd workforce of Namma Metro, the running of migrant special trains and a gradual exodus of the labour force from Bengaluru are set to severely impact the ongoing Phase -II Metro project.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited Managing Director Ajay Seth said, “While 850 workers have already left, another 1,250 are waiting to leave. They are not coming to work.” He also said that around 75% are willing to stay back and report to work.

Asked about the effect of the exodus, he said, “It’s too early to judge the impact on our projects.” The first two Metro lines, which had deadlines of August 15 and November 1 this year, are not on course. “We are hopeful of commissioning the Mysuru Road and Kanakapura Road extension lines in 2020,” Seth added.

Meanwhile, boring of tunnels on the underground stretch between Nagawara and Gottigere has not taken off. “Four TBMs were transported from China. One of them is being assembled near Shivajinagar Metro Station, while another is yet to get assembled,” an official said.

Those who can handle TBMs are specialised staff. “Some of them have left and we may have to wait for them to return, or the contractor will have to rope in other workers. It has hit our work,” he said. Although, work picked up for a week after April 23, when the State allowed construction work to go on. It was stopped later.

“Only a few wanted to leave initially, but soon there was an exodus. Everything is set for massive delays,” another official said. Chief Engineer (Projects) B L Yashavanth Chavan said it was not possible to commit to any deadline as of now. “Some delay can be expected,” he said. 

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