HYDERABAD: It has been a week since the operational launch of much-awaited metro rail and some of the regular commuters have already noticed an increased travel time between Ameerpet and Mettuguda as compared to the other two stretches. There is a reason. The other two stretches had been readied much before the launch whereas the Ameerpet-Mettuguda line was issued the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) certification as recently as November 20 (8 days before PM Narendra Modi launched the operations), and hence the delay.
“The Metro ride takes longer time between Ameerpet and Mettuguda. Though the distance is almost close to that between Miyapur and Ameerpet, the time is almost double between Ameerpet and Mettuguda,” said M Kiran, a techie who travels between Miyapur and Uppal. It is reliably learnt from sources that the automatic train operation (ATO) of the Metro car (monitored from the command control in Uppal) is only done between Miyapur and SR Nagar, and Nagole and Mettuguda.
“We are running at a degraded mode of operation (between Ameerpet and Mettuguda) but that is alright considering the little time we got to test the platform, concourse, and conduct the test run on the entire 31-km-long stretch,” an official source revealed to Express. He added that the issue was not a concern as the same happened on various Metros in India including in Chennai and Delhi where stations were built after the official launch.
The Ameerpet interchange station, the biggest metro station in the country, missed its first internal deadline of October 15 for completion. It got ready only at the second week of November. And the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) certification for this stretch was received as recently as November 20.It is also reliably learnt that the Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling system provided by Thales, a French company, which interacts with multiple interfaces like passenger announcement, fault reporting and the like, is still being updated at the Ameerpet station.
“The train operators (TOs) are manually controlling the line between Ameerpet and Mettuguda as the CBTC signalling is not completely operational. The system will be ready by the end of January and the Metro will operate at a high speed of 80 km/h from then on,” he said. L&T MRHL officials said that updating of CBTC was being undertaken but did not comment if that was the reason for the car slowing down between Ameerpet and Mettuguda. “The system is just stabilising and it will take a little more time. The CBTC is being updated at Ameerpet.,” they said. Attempts to contact HMRL managing director NVS Reddy proved futile.
Travel time in comparison
When Express analysed the time taken to travel between Miyapur and Nagole, it is about one hour and 23 minutes during non-peak hours (including the 15 minutes of interchange time at Ameerpet). While it takes 23 minutes to travel between Miyapur and Ameerpet covering 12 km distance, it is not so between Ameerpet and Mettuguda as the 12-km stretch takes about 45 minutes (including 16 minutes of interchange time at Ameerpet) .