Metro launch by March, fares out in a week

There are many questions raised on the pace at which Namma Metro is being completed. What is really in store for 2011? An update.

Metro fares for the first reach between Baiyappanahalli and M G Road are to the decided in a week, says BMRCL’s PRO Yeshwanth Chavan. Trains will start running from March along the much-delayed first metro line for Bengaluru. Construction work from Swastik to Peenya Depot will be completed by December, adds Chavan. BMTC bus feeder routes are to be decided in two weeks.

The Baiyappanhalli-MG Road stretch through Indiranagar and Ulsoor is awaiting launch in March. Map: BMRCL.

After the Metro’s Baiyyappanahalli-MG Road reach missed its December 2010 deadline, officials at BMRCL say it will open this quarter. A half-way technical run, from Baiyyappanahalli to Indira Nagar was held on December 27 in full glare of the media.

Over two years away Peenya village-Hessarghatta cross: 2013
Magadi Road-Mysore Road: 2013
RV Road-Putenahalli cross (JP Nagar): 2013

One full-length technical run will be held this week, says BMRCL’s Chief PRO, B L Yeshwanth Chavan. Full tests will follow to get certifications from Commission for Railway Safety of Bangalore, after which the reach will be commissioned. The nearly 7-km reach in the east-west corridor comprises six stations – Baiyappanahalli, Swami Vivekananda Road (Old Madras Road), Indira Nagar, Ulsoor, Trinity Circle and M G Road.

As of now 78% of work on stations is complete and full completion is expected this month. Track laying work will be completed this week. At the Baiyyappanahalli depot, works such as setting up of Repair Workshop and Operation Control Centre (OCC), is still progressing, and will be completed in March. "Critical works required for running of Reach 1 will be completed now, other works at the depot will be taken up slowly," Chavan says.

The total length of the east-west corridor which comprises of Reach 1, 2 and underground – starting from Baiyyappanahalli and ending at Mysore Road station is 18.10 kms. In addition to Reach 1 stations, there are 10 other stations in this corridor, including Cubbon Park, City Railway station, Magadi Road, Vijayanagar, Deepanjali Nagar. Total time for end-to-end travel is 33 minutes.

The 24.20 km North-South corridor including Reach 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 4A and the undergound sections will begin at Nagasandra (Hesarghatta cross station) and terminate at Puttenahalli. There are 24 stations in between including Peenya, Yeshwantpur, Rajajinagar, Kuvempu Road, Malleswaram, Majestic, City Market, Lalbagh, Jayanagar and Banashankari. It would take 44 minutes to traverse the corridor.

Status of work along other reaches

Magadi road to Mysore road terminal (Reach 2)
Most foundation works have been completed at Magadi Road, Tollgate, Hosahalli, Vijayanagar, Deepanjali Nagar and Mysore Road stations.

Swastik to Yeshwantpur (3) and Yeshwantpur to Peenya depot (3A)
Work is ongoing for all stations – Yeshwanthpur, Soap factory, Mahalakshmi, Rajajinagar, Kuvempu Road and Malleshwaram. Roughly one-third of the work is complete.

K.R. Market – RV Road (4)
Over half the work is complete in all stations. The stations are coming up at KR Road, Lalbagh, South End Circle, Jayanagar and RV Road.

Underground section
In the 4.8 km underground section in the east-west corridor, the East Ramp is expected to be completed in February. Work is progressing in Cubbon Park (Minsk square), Vidhana Soudha, Sir M Vishveswaraya (Central College), Bangalore City and Majestic underground stations.

After Reach 1, the next stretch for completion is Reach 3 (Swastik to Yeshwantpur), and 3A (Yeshwantpur to Peenya depot), in the north-south corridor. "All civil constructions of this stretch will be complete by this year end. We cannot talk about its opening as it depends on test runs and certifications," Chavan said.

Going further north, Reach 3B (Peenya village station to Hessarghatta cross station), might open late – probably along with the entire phase’s completion in 2013, Chavan says. In Reach 3B, only the foundation for the pillars has been laid, at the Hessarghatta station. Reach 2 (Magadi road to Mysore road terminal), Reach 4 (K.R. Market – RV Road), Reach 4A (RV Road to Puttenahalli cross) and the underground section – will be completed in 2013.

Family coming out of Namma Metro coach showcased on M G Road. Pic: PeeVee aka Perumal Venkatesan.

According to the newsletter on the BMRCL’s website, all 816 properties marked for acquisition have been acquired. Demolition is yet to be completed in 3A, 3B, 4 and 4A reaches. Metro fares will be finalised within a week, says Chavan.

Feeder BMTC buses for the Byapanahalli-MG Road line – to connect passengers to and from metro stations – are to be announced soon. "The routes, buses and the areas where they operate have not been finalized. This will be completed in two weeks" says Mithila Jha, Urban Planner, BMTC. BMRCL is not making any recommendations to BMTC on the bus routes.

Comments:

  1. B Dutta says:

    Appreciate the report.

  2. Vishwas says:

    Regardless of the delays in implementing the Bangalore Metro, it is a great achievement that it has started and progressed till this stage. It is normal to expect delays in such projects, especially with under-skilled contractors and so many obstacles (especially in Land acquisition). I venture to predict that in a year, it will be so popular that people will be complaining about the inadequate capacity and demand expansion in both coverage as well as carriages/frequency of services. A visit to New Delhi and a sampling of the Metro system there, will convince the naysayers of the need for a metro in a modern city. They are already talking about a phase-3 addition to the Metro system and key phase-2 additions such as a line to the airport are being completed (though delayed).

  3. Vishwas says:

    I hope the Bangalore city planners and the BMRCL will have made and considered plans to further add to the Metro capacity along the ring-roads and a Metro link to the Airport. The forces arrayed against the Bangalore Metro already seem to have an upper hand since an elevated expressway is being built to the airport rather than a high-speed train or metro link.

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