The wait for Namma Metro might just get longer and neither Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., (BMRCL), which is executing the project, nor the State Government seems to be in a position to formally fix the date for the commercial operations.
BMRCL spokesperson and Chief Public Relations Officer Yashvanth Chavan told The Hindu earlier in the week the corporation is still awaiting issue of “speed certificate” from the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) of the Indian Railways.
The speed certificate, he said, is necessary for the BMRCL to go ahead with the safety certification test procedure of Reach 1 of Namma Metro between Byappanahalli and Anil Kumble Circle stations.
Only after the RDSO gives the certificate would the Commissioner for Railway Safety (CRS) go ahead with the rest of the tests, including safety drills.
BMRCL Managing Director N. Sivasailam too went on record a few days ago saying that the certificate would enable the CRS to go aboard Namma Metro and conduct detailed tests on safety and other aspects linked to commercial operation.
BMRCL officials said the CRS could take up to 10 days to conduct the safety tests, including the oscillation trials. Mr. Chavan said after the RDSO and CRS complete their tests, it would be left to the Union Government to fix the date of commercial operations. He, however, refused comment on when the two entities would clear the project.
He, however, said this time around, all possible efforts would be made to ensure that Namma Metro would be on track as scheduled. Though it missed its earlier deadline of April 4, 2011 for the commercial launch, no effort will be spared this time to see that the launch is flawless and that all permissions are secured well within the stipulated time.
Another new problem that Namma Metro is facing is the new Central Act. BMRCL officials say until now, all clearances for the Rs. 11,000-crore project were under the Mysore Tramways Act. Now, a new Act has come into force for metros where only the Centre can clear such projects. Hence, Central clearance is mandatory and BMRCL says its “hands are therefore tied”.