BENGALURU: Namma Metro is all set for a date with its new coaches on Valentine’s Day as BEML, the coach manufacturer, will hand over the first set of 3 coaches to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) on February 14. The first batch of three coaches, out of a total of 150 coaches ordered by BMRCL, will then be put through a rigorous testing schedule before being certified and attached to an operational train sometime in March, according to sources.
The addition of the extra coaches will also bring cheer to women passengers, who have for the longest time been asking for a special coach reserved for female passengers. Trains with six coaches will have the first coach behind the loco-pilots cabin reserved for women, BMRCL Managing Director Mahendra Jain confirmed to Express. However, he did not specify a timeframe for when the first set of coaches would be commissioned.
“A specific timeframe cannot be given immediately. Integration of coaches with existing ones and testing will need to be done. Work in connection with these will start the same day at the Baiyappanahalli yard, “ he said.
With 50 trains set to receive 3 extra coaches each, the move will help deal with the current rush of passengers that the Metro is seeing after Phase I was completed last year. With daily average ridership figures crossing the 4 lakh mark with regularity, passengers have been asking for additional coaches for over six months now. The coaches will be supplied by BEML as part of a Rs 1,421 crore contract and they will be fit between the first and last coaches. The deal was signed in March 2017 with funding from Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) for it.
The next batch of three coaches would be delivered by June 2017, and the remaining in phases up to June 2019, Jain said. Bengaluru Development Minister K J George would be present at the function slated to take place at BEML office off Old Madras Road on February 14.