Bangalore: Commercial operations on the Metro railway line between Magadi Road and Mysuru Road stations may start by mid-September as the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) began safety trials on the stretch on Wednesday.
Having missed several deadlines in the past, the line was to open in June but the launch was postponed until the end of July. Then came the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections, and the BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd) got more time to complete the pending works.
Safety trial by the Commissioner of Railway Safety, S K Mittal, went on till Wednesday evening and will go on for two more days, BMRCL officials said. While BMRCL officials were tight-lipped about when the line will be opened to public, sources said that if the trial got over within a week, commercial operations could begin by mid-September.
In March this year, the BMRCL had transported coaches through the underground line between Cubbon Park, Vidhana Soudha, Sri M Visvesvaraya and Majestic railway stations, and on the elevated stretch till Magadi Road and beyond.
The purpose was to transport the coaches to be run on the elevated stretch between Magadi Road and Mysuru Road stations, which doesn’t have a depot nearby. The tunnel’s safety was tested at the same time.
The Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), ‘Krishna’, which is tunnelling between KR Market and Chickpet Metro stations for over a year now, is all set to emerge out in the next two days.
The TBM tunnelled 417 metres till last week and has to dig just 10.5 metres more to reach the Chickpet station and achieve a breakthrough, BMRCL officials said.
The presence of hard rocks under the ground level slowed down the machine’s work. It also had to avoid causing any disturbance above the ground level.
After reaching Chickpet, the TBM will be launched on the second tunnel between Chickpet and Majestic stations. TBM ‘Kaveri’, which is also tunneling between Chickpet and Majestic stations, has covered 336 metres so far and has to dig another 404 metres to reach the Majestic station.