Following sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, many Metro contractors are facing severe shortage of steel. According to them, most steel manufacturers in India have shifted to exports, which is more profitable because of the global shortage.
“Russia and Ukraine are major providers of steel. Shortage of high-grade steel in the domestic market has affected several ongoing infrastructure projects, especially Metro work. In addition to the shortage, steel prices have drastically increased in the past two years,” a contractor said. This may delay Whitefield Metro (Byappanahalli-Whitefield) which is scheduled to commence operations by December 2022.
“For the Byappanahalli-Visvesvaraya Industrial Area section alone, around 6,000 tonnes of steel structures are required. We have received only around 4,500 tonnes so far. We placed an order for the remaining 1,500 tonnes and paid, but there has been a delay due to shortage of high-grade steel in the domestic market,” a source with BMRCL said.
BMRCL is considering opening Whitefield Metro in two phases in case there is further delay in civil work between Byappanahalli and KR Puram.
“Civil work between KR Puram and Whitefield section is almost done. But only about 35% of the civil work on Kadugodi depot has been completed so far. We cannot commence train operations without a depot. But we have a backup plan now. While Kadugodi depot may not be fully completed, we have asked the depot contractor to complete the work for basic operational requirements,” said a BMRCL official.
However, BMRCL managing director Anjum Parwez maintained that the entire Byappanahalli-Whitefield section will be operational in December 2022.