Bangalore Metro: CRS inspection of the North-South corridor in June

BANGALORE: The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is likely to miss yet another deadline for Phase 1 as it require more time to offer the North-South corridor (Green Line) for Safety Inspection by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS).

As per a statement issued to the media last month, BMRCL should have “offered” the Sampige Road-Yelachenahalli section for CRS inspection in the last week of April, after completing 18 different tests that are part of trial run.

BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola on Tuesday said trial runs will continue till May 12, after which they will invite the CRS. “The tests on this section are still going on. We will invite the CRS after the completion of the trials,” he said.

His statement was echoed by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who held a review meeting in the city. “The date of operation will be announced only after the CRS gives clearance,” Naidu said.

Against all odds, Bengaluru Development Minister K J George has assured that metro Phase 1 will be operational by the end of May, which seems to be unlikely considering that the CRS will need at least a month before giving clearance.

After failing to meet the November 2016 deadline, Metro officials had promised to complete all works of Phase 1 by April and begin commercial operations in May. If the delay in CRS inspection is an indication, the project may be delayed till June. A BMRCL official said a minimum of 15 days are required for inspection of the stretch since it also includes an underground section. “It will take at least another month before we can begin commercial operations on the stretch,” he said.

CM’s invitation to President

Even as doubts linger over the completion of works and inspection, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has written a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee, inviting him for the inauguration of Phase 1.

“I am happy to inform your kind self that the entire network of Phase 1 would become fully operational.

This would usher in a new era in the public transport of the city. It would be a matter of great honour for us to have your esteemed presen­c­e as chief guest on this historic event,” the letter says. The letter, however, does not mention any date for the inauguration.