The 2.5 km 'missing link' between Baiyyappanahalli and K.R. Pura(Krishnarajapura) stations of the extended Purple Line of Namma Metro will be ready by June-end, according to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Managing Director Anjum Parwez.
The 'missing link' was delayed due to the challenges in erecting an open web girder (OWG) over the railway track near Benniganahalli Lake, which had to be executed in tandem with railway authorities. The erection work had to be carried out under the power block. During the power block, train movement was suspended temporarily.
In a dawn-to-dusk operation executed in the first week of February, open web girder was finally placed 14 metres above the railway track. Over 500 tonnes of steel were brought from Bhilai to construct this girder. Spherical bearings have been used in the OWG, The process of erecting the grider, which is 65 metres long, began on December 10.
BMRCL is now expediting the completion of a few pending civil works, including the launch of remaining segments along with the laying of tracks and signalling equipment in this stretch.
Once the 2.5 km stretch between K.R. Pura to Baiyappanahalli opens by mid-2023, it will pave the way for Whitefield, the bustling tech and residential hub of Bengaluru, to be connected to the rest of the city.
On Saturday (March 25), Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 13.71 km long K. R Pura to Whitefield, which is part of the extended purple line from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield (15.50 km) built under phase II of Namma Metro. The commercial operations commenced on Sunday (March 26).
Bengaluru now has 69.66 km of operational metro network with 63 stations, the second largest in the country after Delhi.
The 15.50 km Purple Line extension project has repeatedly faced delays due to legal wrangling between environmental and local authorities over relocating around 60 trees near Benniganahalli Lake.
Once the Byappanahalli-Whitefield is fully functional, the length of the purple line will increase to 42.53 km, with 37 stations extending from Whitefield in the east and Challaghatta. (A 1.3 km extension of the purple line from Kengeri to Challaghata is also set to open shortly).
The line passes through central business districts of the city, including M.G. Road, Vidhana Soudha and Majestic station, an interchange station between Purple and Green Lines.
Once the 'missing link' is commissioned, the metro ridership is expected to increase dramatically by 3.5 lakhs as it seamlessly connects Whitefield with most parts of Bengaluru.
BMRCL operates bi-directional feeder services between Baiyappanahalli and K.R. Puram until the full line becomes operational in June/July.
BMRCL is deploying five sets of trains which will run at a frequency of 12 minutes. The travel time on the stretch is 23 minutes and will cost the commuters Rs 35.
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