New Delhi: The second phase of the Bangalore Metro project has been cleared by the expenditure finance committee (EFC) for an amount of 26,405.14 crore, two government officials said. A senior urban development ministry official who did not want to be named said the clearance came last week.

The Bangalore Metro project is being executed by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL), a special purpose vehicle jointly owned by the Union government and the Karnataka government. The first phase was cleared in 2006.

According to the detailed project report (DPR), phase II will have six lines, with a total length of 72km. One will be an arterial line from Gottigere to Nagavara (in the southern part of Bangalore), to be built at a cost of 11,014 crore, with 13.79km of it being underground.

A second new line, from R.V. Road to Bommasandra (both in the south Bangalore), will cost of 5,744.09 crore. The other four will be extensions of lines from phase I. “The completion period for all lines of phase-II will be 5 to 6 years from the date of approval by government of India," the project report says.

Urban development minister Kamal Nath, while flagging off the first phase of the Metro in October 2011, said that the approval for the second phase would also come about soon.

But a recent report by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation pointed out that delays in execution had cost the government an additional 5,214 crore. While the initial estimated cost was 6,395 crore, it was later revised to 11,609 crore.

S.K. Manglik, senior consultant at the Institute of Urban Transport in Delhi, said urban transport had been neglected for many years. “Unfortunately this sector had a low priority in the past. It is in the last 10-15 years that there has been a boost in this sector because of the Delhi Metro," he said.

“The phase II will not have PPP (public private partnership) component. It will be funded by equity and debt. The four extensions to phase I will be completed by 2017 and the 2 new lines by 2019," said a Bangalore Metro official requesting anonymity.

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