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Indiranagar Metro in progress

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Metro RailPowerPublic TransportWater

 We had a nice meeting with Nathan and Kiran of Biome Environmental solutions where a lot of discussions took place about the concept note on Indiranagar Metro project in the context of forthcoming Mobil city Un-conference at IISc. The Metro passes through CMH and 100 ft roads in Indiranagar. We in Indiranagar are quite familiar with the Metro by now.

 The huge pre-cast RCC concrete blocks which are the building blocks of the Metro Track are being hoisted and fastened to lay the track pillar to pillar. Some work is also in progress on CMH road regarding providing new man holes for the existing 12 inch ceramic sewage pipe line. This will facilitate connecting the sewage lines of the shopping areas all along the Metro Route.

Generally in cities like Bangalore where development is taking place at a mind boggling pace the first casualty is physical movement of commuters. Hence the CISTUP and the un-conference organized by Praja are highly important. While high lighting the Metro progress it is important to recognize the importance of these transport arteries role in providing the infrastructure for those requirements other than the transportation of people. Here I am trying to point out the relevance of transportation of 

  1. Drinking water
  2. Sewage water.
  3. Electric Power
  4. Voice and data

The forth item viz V & D involves multiple private players as opposed to the first three where it is a monopoly of the public sector. BWSSB and BESOM are the PSUs involved. The present scenario is a total lack of co ordination when the roads and other infrastructures like Metro are being handled by our government.

Picture-1 Pillar at turning CMH to 100' Road (Steel Reinforcement)

  Picture 2. CMH Road to 100 Ft Road Turning 

Picture 3. 12 inch Ceramic Pipes 

Picture 4. New Manhole under Progress - 1 

Picture 5 New Sewage Manhole 2


psaram42's picture

The hoisting of Pre cast RCC Blocks For the Metro Track

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 Picture 1 - The Block Arrives

  Picture 2 The Block being positioned 

 Picture 3 The Block is Attached at track level 

Picture 4 The Workers on top below track level at a pillar

n's picture

Nice pictures

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Looks like the girders are post-tensioned prestressed concrete just like the Sirsi circle flyover.

vinod_shankar's picture

Pictures speak

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Nice pictures PSA sir, the metro bug has caught you also after the recent discussions we had with nate,  biome and others. 


RKCHARI's picture

So What is the Solution?

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Hi PSA Sir,

Your observation about lack of planning for 'transport' of sewage, drinking water, electric power and voice and data cables is very valid. But as far as BWSSB and BBMP Engineers are concerned, they really have absolutely no concept of how to plan such vital arteries of modern living.

So the question begs - what really is the solution? Bring in International Consultants? At least get their views if not their products and services?

Mr. Sreedharan of Delhi Metro was actually advising some African countries before he took over the DMRC headship. He is still on BMRC Board, I think. Any hope these BMRC 'on the ground' Engineers will listen to him?

What a mess the Bengaluru Metro has become! Meanwhile leading Architects are planning world class stations without toilet facilities!

Wither BMRC?


silkboard's picture

the two bad words, trace the money first.

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Those are the two famous words Mr Chari - international and consultants.:)

Understand the root of the problem first - perhaps by following the money. Follow the work break down, and design process. And then suggest fixes, doable ones, preferably in small chunks. Why small chunks? Because, if you can't break a big problem into small doable bits, most likely you have not figured out the problem (basic engineering, right?).

Chari sir, high level funda-baazi about international consultants, and bitching about BMRC (construction will create mess - talk about them missing dates, not taking safety precations with proof - then the rhetoric will find acceptance) - all that is fine, and well accepted by all. But, given your experience dealing with the public work process and agencies here and abroad - you need to educate us better and finer.

Back to the solutoin talk - following the money is key.

Take a recent example from BBMP's road building process. Roads tarring and Sidewalk building were tendered out together. If you compare inch by inch - taring road would cost less than paving sidewalks or covering drains. And since untarred roads are more visible to citizens than bad pavements (reality) - you can guess where would the contractor cut corners.

So - what approach do you take? Either outsource the full road building and maintenance process (so that you can enforce quality of all road amenities), or allocate money for each important peice of work.

And now you see - yeah, pavement design etc can be better - you have footpaths coming up with speed and of reasonable quality around the city.

RKCHARI's picture


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Hi Silkboard,

I did not know Prajagalus were averse to "International;" and "Consultants" ! Personally, I dont think there is any shame in owning up to "not knowing the answers to any solution" idea. Lee Kwan Yew built Singapore single handed without having to depend on any local brains of Malays, Chinese and even Indian inhabitants even as late as 1967! He opened the flood gates of best technologies and ensured every contractor delivered 100%

Frankly I dont understand your reference to following the money trail. Do you mean how the budgetted amount is spent etc?

Also, I think the window dressing that BBMP does by periodic asphalting of roads which invariably only lasts for one rainy season after which it errupts in potholes is not acceptable. Every solution has to be ecologically sustainable. I am sure you will agree.

If you ask me the root cause of India's problem lies in the dreadful method of the tendering process that all infrastructure projects are required to follow. The three tender business and opting for the lowest quote is really antideluvian in its very concept. If people are confident public money will not be squandered by the authorities, then we should just forget about the lowest bid and go for the best technology.

Once that method is done away with, everyone will visibly notice world class infrastructure being developed.

That is my prescription for a 21st Century India!



silkboard's picture


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Dear Mr Chari, see - again - you almost again went into motherhood talk of India's problems etc. I am not averse to discussing babudom, corruption etc, or about international standards and consultants. But, it is safe to assume that at least those who hang out here on these forums know the standard stuff about what ails our country.

The topic was execution of Metro and accompanying work for BWSSB/BESCOM etc. If you could share your understanding about how alll these projects work - and where in that process could professionals like you or enthusiasts like PSA sir can get in to prod or help - that will be something new.

Not that you didn't go there. You are talking about the tendering process - very local and tangible stuff to understand. Where exactly is it broken? How did you see it work in the US (where corruption overheads are lower than in our country). Wish someone could scrutinize one peice of local public work in entirety to spread awareness about how the three tender process hurts infrastructure building and maintenance process!

Not trying to attack you sir, personal attacks are banned on this forum. I only wanted to say that the likes of me hang around here to learn finer stuff from the experienced folks like you. Please spread your knowledge about public works and tendering process, not many understand that stuff well.



idontspam's picture

Metro coverage

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 Is Bangalore east covered adequately by this metro line passing thru Indiranagar? How is BMTC complementing coverage with feeder services?

RKCHARI's picture

Public Tendering Process

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Dear Pranav,

In the US and most so called developed countries all public works are tendered, but none of the departments concerned have any caveat saying they must choose the lowest bid cost-wise. Every tender is evaluated as if that was the only offer on hand and the bottomline is that the technology that is being promoted is sound and has been tried and tested (not necessarily in their country, but anywhere in the world).

In fact new technologies are given extra weightage just to encourage people to think out of the box.

I know the answer to that is that we are a poor nation and hence cannot afford to choose the best technology. But that is incorrect, is it not? When thousands of crores of Rupees is being spent on infrastructure, should the objective be to obtain the best technology or should it be to get the cheapest so that the budgetted amount stretches itself to cover kick backs etc?

If you "beat" down a contractor's quoted price to such absurd lengths that it leaves him with a wafer thin margin after he has also covered kick back costs, he will have no choice but to deliver inferior stuff cheating on the material actually being installed. No one is in the business of providing turnkey solutions for the love of one's city / nation. If everyone accepts the fact that the service provider too needs to make his profit and does not question it, half the problem of delivering sub-standard services will be over.

In major / mega contracts abroad, (in some countries only) the contractor is told up front to quote his best price. Then he is cooly told by the authorities to add "x" percent to pay for "party funds". The party funds are paid indirectly by the budgetted amount and the party sees to it that the contractor delivers what quality of work he had originally promised to deliver. This happens quite a bit in Indonesia, Japan, and some of the other S. E. Asian countries - even Malaysia. At the end of the day, people get the best technology for the basic infrastructure project.

There are no cartels of contractors who monopolise contracts depending on their closeness to the officer issuing the contract. There are no "A" , "B" and "C" grade contractors. Everyone is on equal footing!

Once a technology, after thorough evaluation is approved, they let the contrator / inventor / promoter do his job with a free hand. No 'babus' trying to trip you up.

And the best part is that when a contractor / supplier finishes his job and submits his bill, he is paid within one week without his having to go umpteen number of times literally begging to be paid and in the process having to pay for "chai-pani" to N number of clerks handling his bill!

Another point we Indians should look squarely in the face is the fact that we somehow consider opting for a foreign solution as being an insult to Indian Engineers and their capability. Why so? The "sab chalta hai" attitude must give way to efficiency and finishing a job to its last bit. How often have you seen roads being dug up to lay cables or pipes and the guy who does it does not bother to relay what he has dug up? Why are Indian Engineers, who supervise such jobs considered superior, if not equal to foreign engineers who in most cases are ITI passed equivalents? But they deliver, while our IIT returned Engineers merely look the other way!

In the case of SW Drains, BBMP Engineers are simply fed up of the problems they face when it rains heavily and every open drain gets flooded. Just because cl;osed drains are being suggested by a "foreign" company public at large seem to think it is somehow not a method suited to our climate. Actual fact is that closing drains will throw several approved contractors out of their annual job of concreting the open drains and of de-silting the muck! This is admitted by BBMP Engineers themselves.

There are like this N number of issues. No point saying promote better (read International) practices unless there is a political will to do what is right and the citizens stand by that decision.

My two penny worth!



silkboard's picture

Lets talk about all N issues

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thanks Chari.

Now, may be we should talk all N small small issues with public work process in a separate post - your last comment can lead it off, and let us spread your experience and some member's theoritical knowledge around to all.

Done -

blrpraj's picture

tendering process & local or international expertise

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I think the tendering process itself is probably ok as witnessed in such projects as the golden quadrilateral, mumbai pune expressway etc. I think there is local talent abundantly available and there is definitely no dearth of international talent whenever needed. We have witnessed successful executions of projects in the PPP mode such as Delhi International airport, Bangalore International airport and Hyderabad International airport. With the expertise gained in these projects in terms of project management, construction technology, quality control, bidding processes, best practices etc. etc. the same could be applied to other projects. The major difference between India and developed countries is that developed countries have checks and balances in place and enforcement is better because of which people from our IITs and other institutions go to those countries, apply their talents and end up designing their infrastructure, if they had remained in India they would have rotted in our system. It is virtually impossible to get people in the government sector to do their assigned jobs in India. comment guidelines

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