This is in the run-up to the inauguration of Reach 1 in December

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) is planning to get the metro track on Reach 1 between Mahatma Gandhi Road and Byappanahalli certified for safety by the Commissioner of Railway Safety in the month of October.

The safety certification is in the run-up to plans to throw open the stretch for regular traffic by December 2010.

The State Government had appointed the Commissioner of Railway Safety (Southern Circle) to look after the safety aspects connected to Bangalore Metro. This decision was taken at the board meeting of Bangalore Metro here on Tuesday.

According to Bangalore Metro Chairman M. Ramachandran, the progress of work on Reach 1 was satisfactory and the December deadline could be met. Laying of the rails on the completed portions of the elevated track was under progress.

Funding issues

Bangalore Metro, which has commissioned a detailed project report study for Phase II of Namma Metro, is awaiting the report from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. Mr. Ramachandran said although a final decision on funding of Phase II would have to be taken after receiving the DPR, there was some loud thinking on going to public-private partnership for this phase.

Estimated to cost Rs. 16,000 crore, Phase II of Namma Metro is expected to connect Electronics City and Yelahanka. There are possibilities of extending the network of Phase I from Hessarghatta Cross to International Exhibition Centre and from Jaraganahalli to Anjanapura in North-South Corridor and from Byappanahalli to Whitefield and from Mysore Road Terminal to Kengeri in the East-West Corridor.

The State and Union governments are already vary about the huge financial burden of executing this project and hence were planning to go for PPP.

Mr. Ramachandran said there could be an increase in the outlay for urban transport in the 12th Plan, indicating higher fund allocation for metro projects.

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