As Namma Metro celebrates its first birthday, the officials of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) are happy with the progress so far. Exactly a year later, the Metro with its operations on just 6.7 km stretch has managed to earn a fare box revenue of Rs 11.40 crore with 80,21,648 trips made.
Discussing the journey of Namma Metro so far, BMRCL Managing Director N Sivasailam said that the corporation has met its expectation in terms of earnings from fares and also passenger satisfaction.
“We have taken several suggestions from users into consideration and incorporated them in our system over the past 12 months. Our employees are now trained to use sign language to be able to assist people with disabilities.”he added.
Announcing further plans for the BMRCL, Sivasailam said that the approval for Phase 2 is pending before the Centre. The BMRCL would submit documents for the approval of the Public Investment Board (PIB) in the next 10 days. With a total investment of Rs 26,500 crore, the work on Phase 2 is expected to start in the next 2-3 months.
“As much as 52 per cent of the funding will be through senior term loans. However, a decision on funding agencies has to be made by the Union government,” Sivasailam said.
The Board of Directors of the BMRCL accorded their approval for Phase 2 on September 30. The BMRCL is considering building Phase 2 of the Metro via a part PPP model in which systems, operations and maintenance on two lines would be built.
Sivasailam added that if this system is adopted, it would reduce the project cost by Rs 6,000 crore.
“Our next target is Reach 3 and 3A (Northern Line) between Sampige Road and Peenya. While we had planned on finishing by March 2013, we cannot do so as work on the Malleswaram bridge has been delayed by four months,”he said.
BMRCL is also gearing up to open Reach 4 by March 2014 and has approached the Safety Commissioner for permission to operate a temporary depot for servicing the line.
BMRCL also has nine trains available with it for operating Reach 3 and the trains, currently undergoing testing, are expected to be taken on the main track by January or February of next year.
Sudhir Chandra, Board Member, said that work on the Majestic Railway station is progressing according to the schedule and would be completed by the first half of 2014.
“As part of their celebrations for finishing one year of operations, the BMRCL will hold a small formal function at Byappanahalli station at 10 am on Friday. “We shall honour martyrs and freedom fighters. This is our way of celebrating,” Sivasailam said.