BENGALURU:Reach-3B of Namma Metro, which covers the stretch between Peenya Industrial Area and Nagasandra on Tumkur Road, is likely to be operational by the end of February.
Pradeep Singh Kharola, Director, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), told Express on Friday all ongoing tests would be completed within five days.
Final certificates are expected by February 10. The stretch will then have to be approved by the Commissioner for Railway Safety.
"Everything is proceeding as planned and by next month-end, we should be ready," he said.
The three stations linked on this 3-km stretch are T Dasarahalli, Jalahalli and Nagasandra.
Elaborating on the benefits, U A Vasanth Rao, BMRCL Chief Public Relations Officer, said Reach 3 and 3A, a 10.5-km stretch that now connects Peenya Industrial Area and Mantri Square, sees 25,000 to 30,000 footfalls every day.
"We expect to double that number as the extended route is in the vicinity of numerous apartments and densely populated areas," he said. The frequency would be similar to that of the Metro plying on the other reaches. Each direction will see 102 services, with a train running every 10 minutes from 6 am to 11 pm. If public patronage is high, the hours can be extended, he added.
The 3B stretch has cost BMRCL about `525 crore. Trial runs for it began on September 30, 2014, but faced numerous hurdles and caused delays. The passenger traffic on Reach 3 and Reach 3A has remained much below expectations. Around 50,000 commuters were expected every day but that number is nowhere in sight.
When queried about the chances of this extended stretch doing good business, Rao said, "Let us wait and see."
Traffic congestion could ease up in a big way once Majestic gets incorporated into the Metro network, he said. "This may happen in June or July this year but once it happens, the traffic scene in the city will be much better," he said.