'Opening of Metro Phase 1 will boost Phase 2 funding'

'Opening of Metro Phase 1 will boost Phase 2 funding'

George says banks, corporates find Metro 'viable', will invest in it

'Opening of Metro Phase 1 will boost Phase 2 funding'

The opening of the entire North-South line will make Phase 1 of the Namma Metro viable and instil confidence in investors and banks to fund Phase 2, Bengaluru Development Minister K J George said on Sunday.

Briefing journalists after inspecting the North-South line’s platforms 3 and 4 at the Kempegowda (Majestic) Metro station, he admitted that the sheer magnitude of work involved in Phase 1 had made him sceptical of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited’s (BMRCL) ability to meet the deadline. “This is a major project and building a Metro is a continuous process and it will not stop with completion of Phase I,” he said.

He continued: “We are committed to finishing Phase 2 by 2020. We have added the Silk Board-KR Puram line and finalised the route to the airport. More banks and companies are ready to invest in Metro now that they see the project is viable.”

BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola said the corporation was working on the minor suggestions made by the Commissioner of Railway Safety. “We will send the compliance report within two days as the suggested works are minor in nature,” he said.

Asked how the BMRCL plans to deal with the expected rise in ridership from 2 lakh to 5 lakh, George said the immediate measure was to increase the frequency. “The frequency was increased from six minutes to four minutes on the East-West line. Similar measures will be taken on the North-South line after looking at the demand. The BMRCL will run more services even after the fixed deadline if there is a rush of passengers,” he said.

George reiterated that one coach in every train would be reserved for women when six-coach trains are introduced. “There are 50 trains with three cars each. The BEML has bagged the contract for additional 150 cars and is expected start delivering them by November. We will start running six-car trains during peak hours,” he said.

To a question, he said a decision to revise the fare would be taken after considering the revenue, operation and maintenance cost.
Announcements may confuse you
There will be announcements at Green Line stations about the availability of Metro trains to southern Bengaluru but trains would not go beyond Sampige Road.
With the entire North-South line of Namma Metro set to be commissioned in a week, the BMRCL will conduct service trials from Monday to Wednesday.
During service trials, announcements and displays will give information about the full length of the North-South line.
But passenger services will be available only between Nagasandra and Sampige Road.