IAS officer Ajay Seth, who had been serving as Managing Director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), was on Tuesday appointed the new Economic Affairs Secretary. The appointment at the Centre came on the day BMRCL was carrying out a trial run on the eagerly-awaited extension of the Purple Line.
Mr. Seth, a 1987 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer, had taken over the reins of BMRCL in July 2018 from Mahendra Jain. He has been credited with several milestones of Namma Metro. The latest was the launch of the extended Green Line on Kanakapura Road in January this year, bringing huge relief for a large number of residents near the 6-km line from Yelachenahalli to Silk Institute.
Last July, tunnel work under Namma Metro Phase II was started after a long delay, with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa inaugurating the work at Cantonment Metro station. Under Phase II, the BMRCL plans to construct a 13.9-km underground line from Jayanagar Fire Station to Nagawara. The alignment will have 12 underground stations and 10.37 km of twin tunnels.
Land acquisition for the airport line received a push during his tenure. In January 2019, the State government approved a plan to extend the metro from K.R. Puram to KIA via Nagawara, Hebbal. In November 2020, the BMRCL informed that it had acquired 59,103 square metres of land at a cost of ₹569 crore for the ORR line from Silk Board to K.R. Puram. For the K.R. Puram to KIA line, it is spending ₹2,100 crore for 3.17 lakh square metres of land.
Mr. Seth was unavailable for comments.
Earlier, in January 2018, 1985-batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer Pradeep Singh Kharola took over as the CMD of Air India when the government had started the process for its strategic disinvestment. He had been the managing director of BMRCL since February 2015.
BMRCL began the trial run on the Mysuru Road-Kengeri extension on the Purple Line on Tuesday.
The BMRCL had planned to open the extended Green Line (Yelachenahalli to Anjanapura) on Independence Day (August 15) and the extended Purple Line (Mysuru Road to Kengeri) on November 1 (Karnataka Rajyostava) last year.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on metro work, and most other infrastructure projects.