Bangalore: It was supposed to ease Bangalore's traffic woes, but the city's metro project called 'Namma Metro' has already missed three deadlines.
The delays have now become so serious that it's estimated that Rs 50 lakh of tax payers' money is being wasted every day. Industry experts say the figure - calculated on the internal rate of return - shows the project cost which is around Rs 8550 crore will be around Rs 13,000 crore when it will be completed 3 years later.
"They keep on giving dates and say we are going to start it. It's now become a nightmare. It will not start in time. Phase 1, which was being delayed, may now finally open in September, and then they need to get a lot of clearances like fire safety and oscillations tests also," said Karnataka government Infrastructure Advisor MN Sreehari.
The metro project's biggest hurdle at the moment is the tunneling process because of soil sensitivity and the condition of buildings close to the site. But critics say these factors should have been looked into in the planning stage.
"They could have definitely averted it by proper planning and vision, they planned it as a special purpose vehicle but they could have plugged the costs if they had a clear plan on how they were going to do it," said Sreehari.
Metro officials, however, said the project will meet most deadlines.
"The people who work with us are international expats. Delhi metro is our primary consultant. I don't think there has been any lack of planning. We are all on time," said Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited spokesperson BL Chavan.
But it will take more than simple assurances to convince Bangaloreans who are now more or less resigned to seeing the 'work in progress' boards of Namma metro.