Bangalore Metro Phase II moves ahead 21 Mar 2019

TunnelTalk reporting

The first two of four contracts to build the 14km underground section of the Bangalore Metro Phase 11 have been awarded to Larsen & Toubro.

Network of the Bangalore Metro with underground sections in the city centre
Network of the Bangalore Metro with underground sections in the city centre

The award by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) is for the central Packages 2 and 3 under the centre of the city and comprises about 6km of twin tube running tunnels and five underground stations from Vellara Junction Station, in the south, to Pottery Town Station in the north (Fig 1).

Package 2 on Reach-6 of the new 21.5km long Line includes design-build completion of 2.76km of twin running tunnels and three underground stations at Vellara Junction, M.G. Road and Shivajinagar. The 2.8km long design-build Package 3 includes the running tunnels and two underground stations at Cantonment and Pottery Town. Contract period for each contract is 42 months.

In the meantime proposals have also been called by BMRC for the two remaining two underground construction contracts for tender openings before end of March. Proposals for the 3.6km Package 1 from the south ramp connection to the southern elevated extension, to the contract interface with Package 2 at Vellara Junction Station, and with three underground stations at Diary Circle, MICO Industries and Langford Town, are to be submitted for a tender opening on 25 March, followed by an a tender opening on 27 March for the 4.6km Package 4 from south of Tannery Road station to the north ramp and including four underground stations at Tannery Road, Venkateshpura, Arabic College and Nagawara (Fig 1).

Award of the first two contracts to L&T comes a year after proposals for the original procurement process for the 14km long underground section of the line was cancelled. It also alters the scope of the two packages to the north, moving Tannery Road Stations and its twin tunnels from the original Package 3 into Package 4.

Original bids for Phase II underground works
Original bids for Phase II underground works

While construction of the 7km long elevated section of the new line to the south has been progressing, and is currently about 15% complete, the original proposals for the four underground section contracts were cancelled in March 2018 when they came in substantially higher than the BMRC estimates.

Sixteen construction companies requested bid documents and attended the prebid meetings in 2017. When opened the financial bids for the underground contracts revealed a combined total of the lowest bids at Rs 8553.45 core (US$1.28 billion), nearly 70% higher than the estimated total of Rs 5047.56 core (about US$760 million (Fig 2). Total cost of the Line 4 corridor was estimated by BMRC at Rs 11,908.32 crore including the metro rolling stock and system M&E fittout.

L&T submitted bids for Package 2 and Package 3 in the original bidding process with Italian-Thai Development (ITD), Afcons Infrastructure and Gulermak of Turkey, bidding on all four packages. As the only non-national competitor, Gulermak of Turkey is engaged on its first project in India in joint venture with TATA Projects on the Lucknow Metro. According to BMRC, a maximum of two packages can be awarded to the same bidder.

The contractors who worked on the underground sections of Phase 1 declined to participate in the Phase II procurement. The CEC-Soma-CICI JV completed the 3.5km underground alignment of the 18km East- West Purple Line UG-2 contract using Hitachi slurry TBMs and the Coastal-Transtonnelstroy JV finally completed the troubled 4.8km long underground sections of the 24km long North-South Green Line using a SELI EPB machine and two Herrenknecht EPBMs. The central Majestic underground station in the heart of the city was removed from the UG-2 underground contract and tendered as a separate operation.

Complex geological conditions caused delayed opening of the Phase I underground sections through the Majestic interchange station
Complex geological conditions caused delayed opening of the Phase I underground sections through the Majestic interchange station

The first section of the underground system on the East-West Purple Line, and either side of the delayed Majestic Interchange Station, opened in May and November 2015. Opening of the central underground section of the North-South Line, and continuous travel on the East-West Line through the delayed Majestic Station, was help up until June 2017.

Given the better performance of the slurry TBM systems on the UG-1 section of the Phase 1 construction programme, and the troubles with wear and breakdowns experienced by the EPB machines, it is said that slurry TBM excavation is specified for the Phase 2 running tunnel works. It is said also that BMRC has specified a minimum number of two TBMs to be used on each contract. This was said to have influenced the original bid prices.

The value of the awarded L&T contracts for Packages 2 and 3 at INR 3,325 crore (approximately US$500 million) is reported as being 17% higher than the BMRC estimate. Its nearest rival for the two contracts was Afcons who quoted about INR 16 crore more than L&T in total. ITD-Gulermak in joint venture presented a higher bid for the two packages and HCC (Hindustan Construction Company) presented a bid for Package 2 alone that was quoted as 64% higher than the BMRC estimate.

Together with the underground and elevated sections of the new North-South Red Line, with an interchange with the elevated station of the East-West Purple Line at MG Road, the total 74km metro build out of Phase II includes an elevated Yellow Line and elevated extensions at both ends of the existing East-West Purple Line and the North-South Green Line. Once Phase II is complete, the Bangalore Metro will have an operating system of more than 114km with more lines currently in design, including a metro link to the city’s international airport which is about an hour’s journey time from the city center and with the access highway subject to heavy congestion.


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