President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the much-awaited underground section of the Green Line of Bengaluru’s Namma Metro on Saturday.
The underground section connects Nagasandra in the northern part of the city with Yelachanahalli in the southern part. Managing Director of BMRCL, Pradeep Singh Kharola said that commercial operations will be thrown open from Sunday on Reach 4, 4A and the underground section of the 24.2 km Green Line.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the Namma Metro project in Bengaluru with an aim to have hassle-free commute seven years ago.
This 12km-stretch will not only bring south Bengalureans on board, but will also allow commuters to switch lines at the Kempegowda-Majestic Interchange. Metro is expected to carry atleast five lakh people with the complete rollout of the first phase.
People who are eager to ride on metro will be able to do so around 4pm on Sunday, from Nagasandra.
Sandeep B, who used to travel for two hours everyday from his home in RBI Layout near JP Nagar to his office at Mahalakshmi Layout, says
“I have been waiting for this day to travel by Metro and save not just time but money too. If I drive my car to office, I would spend Rs 7,000 a month. Sometimes, I would take the office cab just to relax or take calls,”
Techies have also been eagerly waiting to travel to Byappanahalli by Metro.
“Now we do not have to endure the Silk Board junction trauma. And we don’t have to fear the rain either,” says Sushmit Pal, a techie. “With metro connectivity through Majestic, we do not need to take our bikes to work anymore and suffer daily stress in the traffic.”
The first phase was to be completed by December 2010, but was delayed due to some land acquisition that got entangled in litigation and the difficulties of tunnelling through mixed soil conditions. They also faced problems in the initial days over axing of trees and razing of heritage and iconic properties.
The Namma Metro team says it has gained valuable experience. “Phase I was new for all of us. We have learned our lessons from the execution of Phase I and will put that to use for the second phase,” says Pradeep Singh Kharola, MD of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL). “Now we are ready to ensure that we complete the 72-km network planned in the second phase within the 2020 deadline.”
BMTC after the commencement of full-fledged operations on the north-south metro line from Monday, has announced to add more feeder routes from the major stations along this stretch. BMTC has already added 13 routes to it’s existing 16 routes along the east-west line (Byappanahalli to Nayandahalli).
The BMTC is operating 85 buses along the 16 feeder routes, which cumulatively take 1,224 trips every day. The BMTC will operate with 205 buses after the addition of 13 new routes. The 205 buses will make as many as 3,142 trips daily from Monday.