Underground advance for Bangalore Metro
Underground advance for Bangalore Metro Jul 2010
Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
The central underground sections of the first two lines of the Bangalore Metro in India are gearing towards mobilization. After various hold-ups, the first underground contract for the central section of the East West Line is awarded to the CEC-Soma JV and proposals for the rebid UG1 underground section for the North South Line are currently under evaluation.

Undergound and elevated routes for Bangalore Metro

A total 8.8km of twin running tunnels and seven underground stations in the city centre link the outer elevated alignments of the first two lines for a total 42.3km Phase 1 network. Client for the project is the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd and its General Consultant is the RITES-OC-PBI-SYSTRA JV. The underground works are let as design-build contracts. Initially two contracts were bid in early 2009 when several groups, including international contractors Strabag (Austria), SELI (Italy) and Dywidag (Germany), presented proposals.
Of these the JV of CEC (Taiwan) and Soma (India) was selected for the East West Line UG2 contract after leading the technical proposals and submitting the lowest financial bid for the 3.4km of twin tube running tunnels and four cut-and-cover underground stations. The UG1 contract for the central 3.3km running tunnels of the North South Line with two underground stations at Chikpet and City Market was rebid and a third contract is programmed to cover the design and construction of the underground interchange station at Majestic. Bids for the UG1 contract were submitted and opened in late June and are currently undergoing evaluation. The design-built contract for the cut-and-cover Majestic Station is also progressing.
After confirmed award of its Rs. 995.2 crores (US $210.2 million) UG2 contract in March 2010, CEC-Soma JV ordered two new slurry TBM systems from Hitachi Zosen of Japan. The machines will work through weathered rock and residual soils under a high watertable. The order includes delivery of the slurry separation plants. These are the first Hitachi Zosen TBMs and the first slurry TBM systems to be used in India.
At the same time detailed design of the structures is progressing towards ground breaking for excavation of station boxes and TBM working shafts. Design of the segmental lining is also progressing ahead of establishing a production facility for casting the precast bolted and gasketed tunnel lining segments.
As work on the central underground sections of the lines begins, contracts for construction of the elevated sections of the routes have been progressing over the past two years. These elevated sections are due to be completed in December this year with phased opening of services on the lines beginning in early 2011.
The CEC-Soma JV is continuing its association in Bangalore after successfully completing contracts for the Metro system in Delhi. It used four EPBMs, two from Robbins and two from Herrenknecht, to complete running tunnels for the metro as well as the airport link. Both projects are complete and on course to be in operation as scheduled for the start of the Commonwealth Games in October this year.

CEC-Soma crews working on the Delhi Metro tunnels

The two companies are also bidding on the underground contracts for bored tunnels and open-cut stations for the metro system in Chennai. The five design-build underground contracts are currently under tender and are programmed for award before the end of this year. CEC has also submitted a proposal for the rebid UG1 contract in Bangalore.
A metro system for Bangalore has been under study over the past 25-30 years. In 1994, the Bangalore Mass Rapid Transit Limited (BMRTL), incorporated by the State Government to implement the mass rapid transit system, promoted a Public-Private Partnership procurement. A partner was selected but the project failed to take off. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in partnership with RITES then prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Bangalore Metro Rail in 2003 and proposed the East-West (EW) and North-South (NS) for a total length of 42.3km. The project finally took shape with the Karnataka Government clearing the project in March 2005 and the Union Government giving its approval in April 2006. The total project outlay envisaged in 2006 prices is Rs. 6,395 crores (US $1351.15 million), which is being financed by local and central government by way of equity, subordinate debt and senior term debt.
Bangalore is the fifth city in India with Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, to be building a metro system with underground sections included. In addition, there are plans in development for metro systems in Agra, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Hyderabad, and Chandigarh. Services on the full extent of the first phase network in Bangalore are due to open in 2014.
Current and planned tunnelling activity in India - TunnelTalk, July 2008
Sixteen prequalify for Chennai Metro underground - TunnelTalk,July 2010

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