The Bengaluru Metro's line connecting Whitefield to Challaghatta is set to be operational by the end of August 2023, bringing much-needed relief to commuters in the city.
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) managing director, Anjum Parwez, announced that trial runs on the Byappanahalli-KR Pura (2.1 km) and Kengeri-Challaghatta (2 km) Metro sections will commence simultaneously on 22 August.
The plan is to inaugurate both sections by the end of August, completing the commissioning of the entire east-west corridor (Purple Line).
To ensure smooth train operations and prevent any structural issues, trolley test runs will be conducted starting from 15 August. These tests involve operating a trolley carrying the frame of a Metro train to check the schedule of dimensions (distance between the centre of the track and the nearest structure), as explained by Parwez.
Following the trolley test runs, trial runs with a six-coach train will be conducted on both the Byappanahalli-KR Pura and Kengeri-Challaghatta metro sections starting on 22 August, according to Parwez.
A load test of the open web girder (OWG) will be conducted above the track of the Indian Railways at Benniganahalli. To ensure structural stability, a six-coach train loaded with sandbags, simulating full passenger capacity, will be stationed at the OWG for the entire night.
The BMRCL is currently preparing the necessary documents for inspection by the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety for both sections. Once approval is received from the CMRS, commercial services can begin.
The operational section of the Purple Line currently spans 39.4 km, connecting Byappanahalli to Kengeri and Whitefield (Kadugodi) to KR Puram.
The missing link between KR Pura and Byappanahalli has caused inconvenience for many passengers, especially tech professionals commuting to areas such as Mahadevapura, ITPB, and Kadugodi.
Once the missing link is completed, office-goers will have the option to live in more affordable areas near Challaghatta and commute to their workplaces in Whitefield and surrounding areas.
The opening of the entire east-west corridor will drastically reduce travel time for passengers, making it a game-changer for the city's mobility landscape.
According to Parwez, it will take approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes to travel between Challaghatta and Whitefield (Kadugodi), whereas covering the same distance by bus or cab usually takes more than two hours during peak time.
"At least 70,000 passengers per day will shift to Namma Metro when the Purple Line becomes fully operational. We believe that more people will choose Namma Metro as it provides a comfortable travel experience in the city," added Parwez.
The completion of the Byappanahalli-Whitefield Metro section, an extension of the Purple Line, was originally scheduled for December 2020 but experienced delays due to various reasons.
Due to South-Western Railway's insistence on using an OWG instead of a composite girder for the Metro's rail crossover at Benniganahalli, the KR Pura-Byappanahalli section experienced additional delays. These delays were further exacerbated by steel shortages.
According to Parwez, signalling testing work has already commenced, resulting in a temporary suspension of services on two sections (SV Road-Byappanahalli and KR Pura-Whitefield) of the Purple Line from 5am to 7am until 9 August.
The ongoing facade work of Benniganahalli station, located between KR Pura and Byappanahalli, is currently in progress.
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