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Namma Metro to ferry 30,000 people initially

Anil Kumar Sastry

Trials in full swing in the run-up to the April 4 deadline of commercial launch


BMRCL expects to transport 8 lakh people a day

End-to-end services after underground sections are ready


— PHOTO: K. MURALI KUMAR

DEADLINE LOOMS LARGE:Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. has upped the frequency of its technical tests on the ‘up track' of Namma Metro's Reach 1 between Byappanahalli and M.G. Road.

BANGALORE: Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), which is racing against time for the commercial launch of Namma Metro on April 4, expects an estimated 30,000 people to hop on the Reach 1 journey between Byappanahalli and M.G. Road every day.

As work progresses, BMRCL predicts that about 60,000 people will take the metro during 2012-13 when it plans to throw open Reach 2 between Mysore Road Terminal and Magadi Road.

After the entire Phase 1 of Namma Metro — comprising East-West and North-South Corridors — becomes operational by 2013-14, the number of commuters could increase to 8 lakh per day, BMRCL has estimated. Phase 1 also includes the extension of North-South corridor to Hessaraghatta Cross in the North and Jaraganahalli in the South.

However, end-to-end services can begin only after the underground sections become operational, construction work of which has just started.

While the excavation work for the launching shaft for the tunnel-boring machine (TBM) is nearing completion in Majestic, one of the TBMs being imported from Japan by the contractors, has just reached Chennai. It will be brought to Bangalore by road shortly.

Trial runs

Meanwhile, in its bid to stick to the April 4 deadline for the commercial launch, BMRCL has commenced test runs on the “up track” between Byappanahalli and M.G. Road.

While motor trolleys were operated on the “up track” on Monday, technical tests were conducted with the operation of the regular metro train on Tuesday. Similar technical tests were conducted on the “down track” last month after which regular trial runs are being conducted on this track every day.

The trial tests on the “up track” will continue for at least a week or till BMRCL officials are satisfied with the results, according to a BMRCL spokesperson. The trial runs comprise speed test, brake test, testing of communication and signalling networks.

Safety certification

Even though BMRCL may claim tests have been successfully conducted, it cannot start commercial operations till the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern Circle, issues the safety certification. The State Government had, in September 2008, appointed the Commissioner as the “Engineer” to look after Namma Metro's safety-related works under the Mysore Tramways Act 1906.

The BMRCL spokesperson said that the trials will be completed by March 20 and the corporation will be ready for the safety certification tests.

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