Metro nears deadline; North-South underground trial run begins

Commercial operations to begin only in May, hints minister George

Metro nears deadline; North-South underground trial run begins
Bengaluru Development Minister K J George flagged off trains at the KR Market Metro Station, initiating the final stage of the trial run on the underground section of Namma Metro’s North-South Corridor (Green Line). When reporters expressed doubts on the completion of project citing pending work in the underground stations, the minister reiterated that Metro Phase 1 will stick to the April- 15 deadline.

When probed further, the minister said the media should not complain about “small delays”.
“The North-South corridor is 24.20-km long, which is 6 km more than the East-West line. A delay of 10-15 days is normal in a big project like this,” he said.

A statement issued by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) showed that the Green Line will be offered for inspection to the Commissioner of Railway Safety in the last week of April. BMRCL managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola said the running of the trains takes the Metro a step closer to the deadline.

“Work directly related to railway tracks, including signalling and lighting systems, has been completed. There are 2% to 3% of pending works in the stations. This will be completed within the next two weeks,” he added. Commercial operations on the full stretch of the North-South corridor will begin in May, George said.

“We are eager to meet this deadline as it will not only boost revenues but also increase the confidence of the financial institutions lending money for the project.” BMRCL suffered a loss of Rs 60.35 crore in 2015-16, which is expected to continue in 2016-17. Phase 1 has missed seven deadlines, the latest one in November 2016.

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