The safety inspection of the eagerly awaited Namma Metro line from K.R. Puram to Whitefield is likely to happen between February 16 and 20.
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) managing director Anjum Parwez told The Hindu that the BMRCL would soon start trial runs of two trains on the tracks. Trial runs are currently limited to one train. Thereafter, the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) will be approached to carry out the safety inspection.
The K.R. Puram to Whitefield line is a part of the Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield line (Purple line) under Phase II.
As per the plan, the BMRCL is opening the 15-km line in two stages — in the first stage, the reach between K.R. Puram and Whitefield with a distance of 13.5 km will be opened. In October, the BMRCL started trial runs initially for 3.5 km between Whitefield and Pattandur Agrahara and later extended to K.R. Puram.
Mr. Parwez said, “Right now, the trial is being done on the line using a single train from K.R. Puram to Whitefield. In the coming days, we will do the trial run with two trains on both parallel tracks. Thereafter, the CMRS will be approached to do the safety inspection. The commissioner will carry out various inspections starting from traction to singling works, passenger amenities, safety issues, and others.”
The BMRCL has set a deadline of March for opening the line between K.R. Puram and Whitefield and the rest of the 2-km line (K.R. Puram to Baiyappanahalli) will be opened mid-year. Due to the delay in the execution of the open web girder over the railway track near Benniganahalli, the BMRCL is not in a position to open the entire extended Purple line. The official said that construction work related to the open web girder over the live track is going on at a good pace with the support of South Western Railway. Construction of an open web girder will link Whitefield metro line with Baiyappanahalli Depot.
“After starting the commercial operations between K.R. Puram and Whitefield, sufficient numbers of feeder services will be provided from Baiyappanahalli to K.R. Puram for the benefit of metro passengers,” he said. The commercial operations will start using the Whitefield Depot. Initially, five sets of trains will be operated on the line. Sources said that the line may be opened for the general public prior to the announcement of the Assembly election dates.
Once the Whitefield line becomes operational, the passenger volume will increase drastically. The ridership is expected to increase by 3.5 lakh with the opening of the line that connects the major IT corridor. The BMRCL started construction work in 2016-17. Due to various factors such as changes in the alignments, delay in the acquisition of properties, COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine war, and incessant rain, the project got delayed.