Amid the delays, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) managed to make ‘considerable’ progress in the year, but just not enough to gift this City the train.
The BMRCL stationed a mock Metro car at the Anil Kumble Circle in June to give a peek into the travelling experience the Metro would be, completed more than 70 per cent of track-laying work in December, got the HAL and Hoody power stations working in November and electrified the tracks up to the CMH Road station, all milestones past their deadlines, of course.
During the year, the BMRCL has also moved in the direction of finding a solution to a long-standing question: how will the Metro stations be connected?
In a voluntary effort, City-Connect, an NGO, finalised feeder bus routes to five Metro stations on Reach-1, in consultation with the BMRCL and the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), and presented before the Secretary, Transport Department.
Vying to be the first Metro project in the country to have a jingle of its own, the BMRCL in October invited applicants to send in their tunes, that, if selected would be played every time a ‘Namma Metro’ advertisement is telecast or aired and before announcements at the stations. The creator of the winning jingle would take home Rs one lakh in cash. The company also gave an opportunity to students from colleges across the board to design the interiors of the MG Road and SV Road stations.
Also, the corporation brought in the first set of cars from South Korea in October, further raising the expectations of meeting the Reach-1 commissioning deadline in December. All of which are now things of the past year.
However, from being unable to decide on the fares, which BMRCL managing director Sivasailam had said will be done by November, to the confusion over security arrangements, with the CISF saying the BMRCL has sent a proposal, and BMRCL spokesperson telling Deccan Herald that the corporation is looking at a special police force and many more, the problems have over shadowed the progress.
Commissioning (tests and certification) of Reach-1 from Byappanahalli to MG Road in December was to be one of the most important deadlines. And the BMRCL, although it does not say so officially, will meet it only by March-April next year. This in turn will push the commercial operations deadline to April-May.
The corporation, as recently as Monday (December 27), staged a mock trial run but would not commit to a date for completion of the certification process. As in December, piers have been completed at all the 222 locations on the Reach-1 between Byappanahalli and Chinnaswamy Stadium. All girder segments have been cast and segment launching of all girders has been completed. More than 72 per cent of work is complete on the stations.
(For further update on reach-2, 3, 3A, 3B, 4 and 4A go to: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/120767/metro-debut-run-only-up.html)
Overall, it was a year of hits and misses for Namma Metro, with more misses than hits. And even the hits missed the deadline.