Bangalore: The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has decided to continue the underground Metro station in front of Vidhana Soudha as the state government is delaying a decision on its request to remove a statue of B R Ambedkar from there. Dalit organisations have strongly opposed the removal of the statue and this has led the government to delay the decision on it.
The cost of such a delay has not been computed yet. However, N Sivasailam, managing director, BMRCL, said that there would definitely be extra costs involved since the procedure and the method of work were now different from what was planned before. The cost for the entire phase 1 is estimated to be Rs 11,609 crore.
Earlier, the Department of Civil Engineering of IIT Madras had submitted a report stating that the statue need not be moved and had recommended various alternative methods in which work could be carried out. However, a decision even on shifting the statue temporarily has not yet been taken and the BMRCL, tired of waiting, has decided to do the best it can in such a situation.
According to sources in BMRCL, it has been decided to cover the statue with metal sheets for protection and carry on with the drilling work which will go under the Vidhana Soudha. The tunnel boring machine Helen has already reached the MS Building and the work is expected to continue. “We have been extra careful with the section. We will be taking precautions like covering the statue with protective sheets in order to ensure that no damage is done,” an employee said.
Sivasailam said that the work on the section is being handled very slowly and carefully. He added that the non-removal of the statue would lead to a delay of four months.