BENGALURU: The most significant step towards connecting Namma Metro’s north and south corridors and completion of Phase-I was made on Sunday with a train being brought to the National College Metro station in the presence of Bengaluru Development Minister K J George. The train will carry out trial runs on the elevated section of the south corridor.
At 3.09 pm, a train stationed at R V Road Metro station was brought to the National College Metro station. This train, which began its journey from Peenya station on Saturday, was pulled by a battery-operated loco from Mantri Square Sampige Road Metro station to K R Market Metro station. George inspected the train and the National College Metro station.
The actual trial runs on this train on the south corridor from National College to Yelachenahalli (Puttenahalli) is likely to begin only on November 23. Trial runs will be held for a period of two-three months. “It will be a very slow run with stoppages from here to Lalbagh station and then back here repeatedly. After that, it would go up to South End Circle and return. It will be a phased testing process,” a top official said.
Billing the formal commencement of trial runs as “a big milestone and a very important step towards completion of Phase-I,” BMRCL MD Pradeep Singh Kharola said work on the second track between Kempe Gowda station and Mantri Sampige Road Metro station will be ready by December 31.
“Engineers have worked very hard. A week of secret preparations took place to bring a train through a battery-operated loco,” he said.
“There were problems when carrying out underground tunnelling between Chickpet and K R Market earlier which led to delays for Phase-I. However, everything is under control now,” the MD said.
Minister George said Metro connectivitiy between Baiyappanahalli and Nayandahalli (Mysore Road) was very popular. “When Peenya gets connected to Puttenahalli (Yelachenahalli), there will be a big relief from traffic congestion in the city.”
Completion of Metro Phase-II and the route between Silk Board and K R Puram will ensure alternative modes of transport for Bengaluru.
When asked about an early start of train operations here, George said, “It all depends on the safety clearance. It is not in our control. Metro is on track to complete Phase-I by March/April 2017.”
Jayanagar MLA B N Vijayakumar said trains will connect Jayanagar to Kempe Gowda Metro station in just 6 minutes. “Public will start leaving their motorcycles and cars and use the Metro,” he said.