BENGALURU: The wait is finally over! President Pranab Mukherjee will formally inaugurate the 10.5-km stretch of the Green Line between Mantri Square Sampige Road and Yelachenahalli Metro stations on June 17. Commercial operations will begin the next day.
This will mark the completion of the 42.3km network of Phase-1.
Setting the ball in motion for the D-day, Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) K A Manoharan gave the formal authorisation for the running of trains on Wednesday evening. Kochi Metro will also be launched on the same day by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Aluva.
The authorisation letter was signed by Manoharan at 6.45 pm. It will be handed over to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) on Thursday morning. “I am giving the authorisation today with conditions attached. BMRCL will fulfil them before they go ahead with the launch,” Manoharan told Express. Trains have been cleared to run at a maximum speed of 80 kmph but they generally run a little less than the certified speed, which would be 75kmph, he informed.
An official communication to the State government from New Delhi on Wednesday confirmed the President’s arrival in Bengaluru on June 17. “The inauguration will take place by late afternoon only. We are working out other details of the function and will confirm them in a day or two,” a highly placed source said.
Mahendra Jain, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development Department, said, “The BMRCL staff went around Metro stations on Wednesday to inspect and finalise on a specific station. It is not decided yet.”
Asked about the conditions which need to be met, the CMRS said they were minor in nature which could be completed in a short time.
“Passenger amenities like lifts and escalators need to be completed at Krishna Rajendra Market and Chickpet Metro stations. Sufficient space has to be identified to install firefighting and electrical equipment at these stations. Minor civil works are pending,” the CMRS explained.
The entrances which are not ready at these stations are not big matters of concern as Metro, he added.
BMRCL MD Pradeep Singh Kharola said, “The minor pending works would be completed by June 10.”
Asked about the preparatory steps being taken, he said, “We are now posting security personnel and housekeeping staff at all the new Metro stations. Each station will have over 40 of them. Ten ticket operators will be posted at each station during this weekend.”