The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRC) is scheduled to inspect the 2-km Baiyappanahalli-Krishnarajapura (KR Pura) section of the Namma Metro in Bengaluru on Thursday, 21 September.
The Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is likely to launch operations on the much-awaited route either in the last week of September or the first week of October.
Due to the safety inspection, the BMRCL has decided to suspend metro services between KR Pura and Garudacharpalya on Thursday. Services between Baiyappanahalli and Indiranagar is expected to be partially affected.
The CMRS was also likely to inspect the Kengeri-Challaghatta route in a week or two, a BMRCL source said.
Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the KR Pura-to-Whitefield (Kadugodi) part of the Purple Line of the Namma Metro on 25 March.
The Purple Line runs for 39.4 km and links 35 stations between Kengeri in the southwest and Baiyappanahalli in the east. The line has 29 elevated and five underground stations, with one at-grade station.
Launch date announcement
The KR Puram-Baiyappanahalli section is a vital link between the Whitfield area and Kengeri, Majestic, and other regions within Bengaluru. This 2-km metro rail line was developed at a cost of ₹190 crore.
To check the new stretch’s safety and dependability, trial runs were carried out using a six-coach metro train at a speed of around 10 kmph on 26 July.
Later, a load test was conducted on the Open Web Grinder (OWG) installed above the Indian Railways track in Benniganahalli. The BMRCL got the India Railways’ nod for installing the OWG in July 2023.
“The CMRS is scheduled to visit Benniganahalli station between KR Pura and Baiyappanahalli stations for a comprehensive inspection. The CMRS will assess the functionality and safety of lifts and escalators, conduct inspections of the pump room, and review the fire suppression systems,” BMRCL officials said.
“They will travel on a motor trolley towards both KR Puram and Byappanahalli to inspect various aspects including curves, the third rail, the OWG, and bearings. Additionally, the CMRS will assess the condition of rolling stock as part of this comprehensive inspection,” an official explained.
The launch date will be finalised after the completion of service trials and authorisation from the CMRS.
Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) cofounder and activist Srinivas Alavilli asserted that the commencement of metro service between Baiyappanahalli and KR Pura would be a “game changer” for the people of Bengaluru.
“Bengaluru’s Metro has been operational for the last 12 years. It is reaching places where lakhs of people go to work,” he pointed out.
“The other good news is that this line connects the Outer Ring Road (ORR). Once this route is in operation, it will ease the traffic in Whitefield and surrounding areas,” added Alavilli.
He said that CfB had launched a campaign to make the line successful. “There is a specific campaign being run: Personal to Public Transport. The main aim of this drive is to encourage people to give up their private vehicles and use public transport. This campaign is underway,” said the activist.
“On average, around 1.8 crore people commute in the Metro every month. Over 6 lakh people commute every day on the Bengaluru Metro (Green and Purple lines),” the BMRCL said.
Metro service suspension
Namma Metro services are expected to be affected due to the inspection on Thursday.
“In view of the statutory safety inspection of the newly constructed line between Baiyappanahalli and KR Pura metro stations on 21 September by CMRS, there will be changes to the metro train operations,” the BMRCL has announced.
In view of the Statutory Safety Inspection by the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (Southern Circle)on 21.09.2023 , there will be changes to the Metro Train Operations. May kindly note and cooperate. Details are in the media release. pic.twitter.com/0K0a5pzkBS
— ನಮ್ಮ ಮೆಟ್ರೋ (@cpronammametro) September 19, 2023
“Metro services will be suspended completely for a day on KR Pura to Garudacharpalya on Thursday. Similarly, the service between Baiyappanahalli and Indiranagar will be suspended from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm,” it added.
“However, the metro train services will be available between Whitefield (Kadugodi) to Garudacharpalya throughout the day and Indiranagar to Kengeri from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Except 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm, metro rail service will be normal between Baiyappanahalli and Kengeri,” said the BMRLC.
There will be disruption in the metro operations on the Green Line as well.