PATNA: Only 5% of overall work on Patna metro rail project has so far been completed in the state. Officials of the Patna Metro Rail Corporation (PMRC) have cited various reasons for slow pace of work, including delay in land acquisition, non-availability of funds and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The construction work on the first phase of the project was initiated in September last year. The 6.6-km long elevated metro line (priority corridor) will have five stations from Malahi Pakri to Patliputra ISBT via Khemni Chak and Zero Mile. It also includes a viaduct leading to the ISBT metro rail depot, as well as a small rake-interchange viaduct at Khemni Chak to connect Corridor I.
The piling work is on in this priority corridor to install pillars in order to lay tracks. It is likely to be ready by 2023. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 553 crore. The total length of Corridor II is 14.5km, including an underground stretch of 7.9km from Patna Junction to Rajendra Nagar.
A PMRC official said all the hurdles would end if they get the required land, 76 acres in total, for construction of ISBT depot at Ranipur and Pahadi area and also for metro stations and tracks at other places. “We will get funds from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) once we get the land for depot and other infrastructure. The JICA will contribute 60% of the total cost of the metro rail project as a loan while 20% of its cost will be borne by Centre and the state each,” the official added.
The state government has sanctioned around Rs 1,000 crore to the Patna district administration to acquire land for the metro depot. District land acquisition officer Pramod Kumar said assessment report of the plot has been sent to the state government. “Once it is cleared, notification for land acquisition will be issued. It will take around 90 days to complete the procedure,” he said.
According to the officials, work on construction of metro tunnel, tracks and stations has not started yet due to unavailability of funds. “The Covid pandemic has also impacted the progress,” they added.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the technical consultant for the PMRC project, has been awarded the work for construction of twin tunnels, underground ramp and six underground stations as part of Corridor II, but the work has not started yet. Around Rs 1,958 crore is required for the underground stations and it will be ready in 42 months after the commencement of work.
The Corridor I will be 17.9-km-long from Danapur to Khemnichack via Meethapur – 7.3km elevated and 10.5km underground.