Commuters looking forward to a ‘driver-less Metro’ will have to wait for another five to seven years until Phase 2 of Namma Metro too is completed.
P S Kharola, MD, BMRCL, at an interaction at the Indiranagar Club, said the technology for trains without a loco pilot is different from the present one and such trains cannot be operated on tracks of Phase 1.
“However, we plan to use advanced technology on the new lines - the RV Road to Bommasandra stretch and the Gottigere to Nagawara stretch, where the trains can function without a loco pilot,” Kharola said.
BMRCL expects to complete Phase 2 of Metro construction in five years although Phase 1 is yet to be completed despite work starting in 2008. But Kharola feels land acquisition hassles are likely to be less along Phase 2.
Meanwhile, Phase 3 is also on the cards. “We have already started planning Phase 3 of the Metro. Unlike Phase 1 and 2 which go across the city, north to south, east to west, Phase 3 will be a circular route around the city,” he said.
Phase 3 will also include the connection to the airport, which according to Kharola, is a hybrid between a high speed rail link and a Metro. “Instead of stopping at every station, the airport link will only stop at select stations, perhaps every ten stations or so and will be faster than the regular Metro,” he said.
Two years after commissioning Reach 1 of Namma Metro and a month into commissioning Reach 3, 3A, problems with regard to feeder services to Metro, and pedestrian facilities are still a concern.
Kharola said talks were on with various civic agencies to improve inter-connectivity between various modes of transport, especially on providing bus bays for BMTC buses, common mobility passes, etc.
Phase 1 Completion
The East-West corridor of Namma Metro, extending from Baiyappanahalli to Mysore Road, will be completed by the end of this year, Kharola said. Tunnelling work along this stretch has been completed and track laying will begin soon. Tunnelling on the North-South corridor, had encountered some hard rocks, resulting in slow progress.