The Bangalore Metropolitan Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is working towards making the missing two-km Namma Metro link between Byappanahalli and KR Puram stations operational by 15 July.
The Byappanahalli-KR Puram Metro segment is part of Namma Metro's Phase 2 extension. The project is estimated to cost Rs 1,000 crore in total. Byappanahalli, Hoodi, Mahadevapura, KR Puram, and KR Puram Bus Stand are among the six stations on the route.
While the plan was to make it operational by the end of June, the BMRCL has stated that it may take an additional 10-15 days to open to the public after completing safety examinations and overall construction.
Once the km stretch between KR Puram to Baiyappanahalli opens, 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 25 March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 13.71 km long KR Puram 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 26 March.
At present, the recently opened Whitefield to KR Puram stretch of the Purple Line is functional, along with the 25-km-long stretch between Byappanahalli and Kengeri.
The missing link would connect the 25.7-km-long Kengeri-Byappanahalli corridor to the recently completed Whitefield-KR Puram Metro line (13.7 km).
The key connection between Byappanahalli and KR Puram will join the entire line and seamlessly connect east to west of the city.
Passengers between Byappanahalli and KR Puram will no longer have to rely on feeder buses.
Currently, the daily ridership of the KR Puram-Whitefield Metro line (13.7km) is between 25,000 to 28,000, varying depending on the time of the week. On weekdays, ridership ranges between 25,000-27,000 but increases to 28,000 or 29,000 on weekends and holidays.
However, BMRCL is expecting a significant increase in the daily ridership of the KR Puram-Whitefield line after the missing link is ready.
Anjum Parvez, Managing Director of BMRCL, said that the expected daily ridership of the line is expected to be one lakh after Byappanahalli station is connected with KR Puram.
Reasons for delay in the Byappanahalli and KR Puram line
The completion of the link was hindered by multiple authorities working in the area, which the BMRCL found challenging.
Chavan explained that the delay was caused by several factors, including developmental works between Byappanahalli and KR Puram.
The railway line crossing connecting Bengaluru and Salem was another matter that needed to be dealt with, alongside bus depot improvement work at KR Puram and decongestion plans undertaken by other civic agencies.
While most of the work on completing the link, such as spanning, laying tracks, and systems installation, has been completed, the system still needs to be tested, thus requiring testing through the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS).
Once all testing has been completed, the Byappanahalli-KR Puram link would be ready for public use, added Chavan, as per the Times Of India report.
Bengaluru now has 69.66 km of operational metro network with 63 stations, the second largest in the country after Delhi.
(a) East-West corridor of 39.34 km: 13.71 km from Krishnarajapura (KR Puram) to Whitefield (Kadugodi) Metro Station and 25.63 km starting from Baiyappanahalli in the East and terminating at Kengeri Terminal in the West
(b) North-South corridor of 30.32 km commencing at Nagasandra in the North and terminating at Silk Institute in the South.
This is the First Metro rail project in India commissioned with 750V DC Third Rail Traction on Standard Gauge.
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