BENGALURU:Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) managing director Mahendra Jain on Wednesday said the election code of conduct, that is in force till the election results are declared on May 15, will not stop it from adding the extra coaches. "The Election Commission has said works which get completed during the time the code of conduct is in place need not wait to be put for public use. It is just that we cannot have a function for the launch, but there is no other problem putting it to use," he told The New Indian Express.
The BMRCL has to acquire clearance from the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) of the Indian Railways. "If we get clearance from the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS), there is nothing stopping us from operating trains with six coaches," Jain said.
Jain said a meeting with BEML on Tuesday had testing of the present set of coaches on the agenda. "There are certain tests that BEML has to do including an electro-magnetic compatibility test, after which the coaches can come out on the tracks. They have to employ some consultants to carry out these tests which are fairly elaborate and may take 8-10 days. After this, we will approach the CMRS for clearance to run the extra coaches," he said.
When asked if there was a time-frame that BMRCL had in mind, he said that it was not possible to give a date till the tests are completed.The need for additional coaches for Namma Metro trains has been a long-standing demand of commuters who are complaining of cramped travel conditions as the daily average ridership has been going up. BMRCL has already seen the ridership on some days cross the 4 lakh mark and the average ridership is rapidly rising to the target of 5 lakh passengers per day that Namma Metro has set for itself. The additional coaches will also mean that a separate coach will be set aside for women passengers, as has been announced previously by the government.
ON THE FAST LANE
Metro ridership crosses the 4 lakh mark on some days
Average ridership is rising towards the target of 5 lakh passengers per day
With Metro running 3-coach trains now, commuters complain of cramped travel conditions
Metro MD Mahendra Jain says the election code of conduct will not come in the way of adding extra coaches
BEML says it plans to deliver 150 coaches to BMRCL by June 2019, ahead of the December 2019 deadline
BEML TO DELIVER COACHES AHEAD OF TIME
BEML will accelerate delivery to the BMRCL and hand over 150 coaches by June 2019 as against the December 2019 deadline. On Wednesday, BEML Chairman and Managing Director Deepak Kumar Hota told The New Indian Express that coach manufacture and delivery will proceed at a faster pace from June this year. “Once the second set is handed over in June, we are looking to finish the entire contract much ahead of the contracted time of December 2019. Since BEML has the facilities needed, production can be ramped up,” he said on the sidelines of a conference on opportunities in defence, held in the city. Confirming this, BMRCL MD Jain said a meeting held with BEML on Tuesday had resulted in the promise that all coaches will be with BMRCL by June next year. “BEML has said that post June-August (2018) when they will deliver the next set of three coaches, they will give 9-12 coaches from August onwards and try to complete delivery by June 2019.” Currently, BMRCL is undertaking testing of the first set of three coaches which was handed over by BEML in February.