No decision yet on Metro commercial run

Bangaloreans will not be able to travel by Namma Metro this New Year, as both the State government and the Centre are yet to decide on starting the commercial operation of the train. Only a trial run and certification of the Metro will be done in December.

However, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had more than once announced that the Metro would chug off in December, only giving rise to hopes among travellers, of a ride aboard the train by the year-end.

Deccan Herald contacted Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) officials to find out if the Corporation had received any proposal for the tender it floated on November 27 seeking contractors to provide personnel for operating ticket office machines and handling customer care, house-keeping services and security.

BMRCL chief public relations officer B L Y Chavan said: “We still have time to put in place customer care, house-keeping and other services. We will keep the media informed about the developments.”

According to the tender document, a copy of which is with Deccan Herald, the last date for submitting the proposals is December 28.

However, when questioned how the Metro stations would function without personnel to operate ticket office machines and other service providers if the BMRCL manages to operationalise Reach-1 by December-end, Chavan said, “Both the State and the Union governments are yet to arrive at a decision on starting commercial operations of the Metro. We are only focusing on ‘commissioning’ (referring to trial runs and certification) the Metro by December.”

Commissioner for Railways Safety (CRS) will have to verify the safety of the Metro once it trial-runs on the main track. The BMRCL will then inform both the State government and the Centre about it for them to take a decision on its commercial operation, he noted.

“We cannot commit a specific date for commercial operations of the Metro, as CRS’  certification is of utmost importance considering public safety. The Metro can be thrown open to public only after securing the certification,” said Chavan. The Corporation will bring the Metro train on the main track by the weekend. This will be followed by trial runs and an inspection by the CRS, he added. According to the tender document, the Reach-1 stretch will have 27 ticket office machines with six each at the Byappanahalli terminal, Indiranagar and M G Road stations, and three each at Swami Vivekananda Road, Ulsoor and Trinity stations. A total of 48 people are required to operate the ticket office machines.

The newly constructed road through Cubbon Park towards Vidhana Soudha and K R Circle will be opened for traffic. Parking and honking on the stretch will be prohibited. The road is constructed to facilitate traffic diversion for the Metro project.

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