After having missed numerous deadlines, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Phase I of Namma Metro.
On Saturday, trials between Sampige Road and Yelachenahalli on Kanakapura Road, which remains the last unopened stretch on the 42.3-km Phase I network, were flagged off by K.J. George, Bengaluru Development Minister.
While Mr. George reiterated Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s assurance that metro will be opened by April 15, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) effectively ruled out the possibility. BMRCL states that Low Speed Dynamic Tests will be conducted by April 14, multiple train tests and anti-collision tests by April 20 before going to the CMRS in the ‘last week of April’.
‘Chikpete station to be ready soon’
BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola sought to allay fears about completion of Chikpete station. According to BMRCL’s March newsletter, around 8% of the work on the roof remains. “We will complete this within 10 days,” he said.
Meanwhile, Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) said their work on integrating the KR Market station, which will be styled to reflect the heritage of the city, with the bus stations of K.R. Market and Kalasipalya as well as providing open spaces in the congested area will be complete by the time operations on the route commence.
Coach for women
With the full metro network expected to carry more than 5 lakh people, Metro officials said the process of increasing the length of the trains from three coaches to six will take a year. “At that point, we can consider reserving one coach for women,” said Mr. George.
Proposal for monorail
Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George said companies from Malaysia and China are in talks with the government to provide monorails as the last-mile feeder connectivity for the metro network. “We have told them we can only implement it under PPP (Public-Private partnership) where they bring the funds... monorails can be considered ultimately when we have a full-fledged network,” he said.