With hard rock making a completed metro system seem a distant vision, officials have instead offered an imminent design: a T-shaped network that can allow citizens to partially traverse between Nagasandra in the north to Byappannahalli in the east or Nayandanahalli in the west. Travelling through Jayanagara or towards Kanakapura, however, remains some months away.
Currently, over 1.2-km of tunnelling remains between Chikpete and Kempegowda interchange, said Pradeep Singh Kharola, Managing Director, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), and added that by mid-June, BMRCL hoped to throw open the completed stretches of Nagasandra to Kempegowda Interchange, and the entire East-West Corridor.
Elaborating on the expected schedules, Mr. Kharola said while the underground stretches of the line connecting M.G. Road station to Magadi Road station was expected to be thrown open by March (currently, trials are underway); the short 1-km tunnelling work between Sampige Road Station in Malleswaram and Kempegowda interchange is expected to be completed by May-end.
With this, by June, 31 km of the nearly 43-km stretch will be finally thrown open to the public, he said at an interaction with members of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI).
“One tunnel between Chikpete and Kempegowda station should be complete in a few months. Once this is done, we can manage to get trains to the unconnected line between Puttenahalli and Majestic and perhaps even ply on this. We can schedule trains to run only through one tunnel,” said Mr. Kharola.
While this tunnel has just 150m remaining to be bored through, the other tunnel has a whopping 725m remaining. “The rocks here are very hard, and we get only a few metres of tunnelling every four days,” he said.
Life of a metro
Total length of Phase I: 42.30km
Stretches expected to be open by June:
Nagasandra to Kempegowda Interchange: 13.4km; nearly 1km of underground
Byappanahalli to Nayanadanahalli Station: 18.10km; 4km of underground
Stretches to be opened:
Puttenahalli to Kempegowda Interchange: 11km
Tunneling left in this stretch: 1.2km