“Namma Metro till Silk Institute saves me Rs 10,000 a month”

Issues such as last-mile linkages, women's safety and parking could undo the benefits of Metro's extended line on Kanakapura Road

Mass Rapid Transport Systems the world over have transformed the lives of people and the landscape of cities. That’s exactly the magic Namma Metro has weaved, at least for some Bengalurueans.

The Metro — where ever it is operational — has been a dream-come-true. It has provided respite from traffic snarls, accidents, pollution, wastage of time and money, and liberated us from our “adjust maadkoli” attitude towards these everyday hassles.

Read more: Is Bengaluru’s Metro Phase 2 almost ready? Here’s a progress report

Namma Metro services towards Yelachenahalli from Nada Prabhu Kempegowda Station in June 2017 came as a boon to the residents of the southern suburbs of Bengaluru. We had been waiting long for this track to become operational, if only to avoid the treacherous road traffic from Banashankari to Yelachenahallli.

Adjacent localities like Vasanthapura, ISRO Layout, Puttenahalli, Anjanapura etc., saw rapid development and increase in property rentals and land rates in anticipation of this track. The additional extension from Yelachenahalli up to Silk Institute — opened in the New Year — will add to the list of beneficiaries.

Bye-bye driving

Some immediate beneficiaries of the extended Namma Metro service, including myself, are residents of Prestige Falcon City, a sprawling new residential complex of 2500 apartments at Konanakunte Cross. We are excited that there is a new station right adjacent to our home.

I had been travelling everyday in a self-driven car to and from my work place, ICAR-IIHR, Hesaraghatta, during the few months of Metro stoppage (post-lockdown). So have many of my colleagues in South Bengaluru. Now, we have now started commuting by Metro.

I have saved at least Rs.10,000/- per month on fuel costs alone, not to mention the great relief of not driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Whereas the 40 km drive from Konanakunte Cross to Hesaraghatta (one way) would take 2 hours every day, the Metro has saved me about 45 minutes. That’s good time to spend with family.

The safety, comfort and convenience of the journey apart from the punctuality are the biggest advantages.

I am sure that residents in Gopalan Jewels, Gokulam, Mantri Tranquil, Mantri Serenity, Liberty Square, Narayana Nagar, Anjanapura (Lal Bahadur Shastri layout), Nandi Gardens, Sobha Forest View, Reshme Nagar, Kendriyanagar will gain similarly from the Metro.

The Prestige Forum Hypermart and the 1000-seater Convention Center which are expected to open by the year-end could see enormous rise in footfalls.

Last mile linkages

Yet, there is much to be done.

Last mile linkages could be the proverbial Achilles heel in the network. Unreliable BMTC services, bad street lighting and overly exploitative autorickshaws could undo all the benefits of this extended line.

Several areas lying within a 3 km radius of Metro stations like Anjanapura, Brookes Haven, Sarathynagara on the eastern side of Konanakunte Cross Metro and Vasanthapura, ISRO Layout, Uttarahalli on the western side, are handicapped without connectivity.

Apartments close to say, K-Cross or Doddakallasandra stations, have nothing much to worry, but for those like Sobha Forest View, which is about 1.5 kms from Vajrahalli station, the last mile connectivity is a bother.

Namma Metro from Konanakunte Cross Metro Station going towards Doddakallasandra Metro Station. Pic: A Bhanu

Parking beku

Lack of adequate, safe, reasonably-priced parking spaces has been another major drawback that worry us on this stretch. There are no facilities to park at any of the five new stations namely, K -Cross, Doddakallasandra, Vajrahalli, Thalaghattapura and Silk Institute.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited says that land acquisition costs along Kanakapura Road are so high that they could not afford exclusive vehicle parking spaces. But, from a commuter point of view, this is a big deficiency and rightly so.

Women’s safety

Women will feel safe to use the Metro if BMTC can assure regular and punctual feeder services. The availability of e-auto rickshaws driven by ladies will encourage more women to use the services.

It is imperative on the part of BMRCL to either provide convenient parking facilities at reasonable cost or to tie up with BMTC to arrange dependable feeder services. Prepaid auto kiosks in Metro stations and app based two wheeler rentals would greatly benefit Metro users. BMRCL cannot expect loyal clientele without providing essential infrastructure for last mile linkage.

Looking ahead

Finally, the moot point – will all this lead to lesser vehicular movement on Kanakapura Road? Too early to say anything, especially in view of the prevailing pandemic. Even Namma Metro is not running to full capacity as compared to pre-covid times. Colleges too are not fully functional. With ‘work-from-home’ being the new norm, most software professionals are home-bound. One thing is a certainty – the trajectory of traffic increase will not go skywards for some time, at least. And one can only hope that with the increase in Metro services, they never will.  

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  1. Anant says:

    Recently used the yulu ebike..if Namma metro cann work with them last mile connectivity will be thing of past..
    There can be few hundred if these light weight bike..which will be better than autos

  2. K.Vanitha Shree says:

    I request BMRCl and BMTC officials to provide feeder buses from Vajrahalli station to Banashankari 6 th stage 1 st block …that is 80 feet road adjacent to KSIT engineering college…there is no facility of transport…..we all feel very hard to get auto also…and walk 2.5 kms to reach home…. kindly do the needful

  3. Mohan says:

    I started using metro, in Bangalore between Byapanahalli to MG road (2012), after I took ride in DMRC when I visited Delhi in March 2011, there was weekend card, just pay Rs.100/- use it on Saturday and Sunday. It was nice experience, visited all tourist place Qutub minar, sansad bhavan, Akshardham, Chandni chowk etc.. on weekends.metro is beneficial and better for environment, avoids pollution

  4. Jishnukrishna Venkat says:

    This is actually a Good Improvement in Bengaluru Metro. This was what I was actually waiting for, for months. I would love 2 travel 2 silk Institute one day !

  5. R.Surender says:

    Nice crisp article covering the pros and cons and way ahead.The rates are higher than kolkatta or even delhi metro.vast improvement in seamless connectivity across Mero stations is need of day for saving fuel and travel time
    Suggest reducing fare and reintroduction of 10% to 15% discount to make it commuter friendlier and life of common man less burdensome.

  6. Anantha Ramesh says:

    Thanks for this timely and informative article.

  7. M V Giri says:

    Dr Bhanu’s views are true as regards traveling in Namma metro…

  8. Archana says:

    Well narrated insights on new metro line.
    It will be more helpful when the connectivity till Whitefield,mahadevpura,byapanahalli is complete.Hope work will be completed by the time wfh ends?

  9. A.C.Gurunath says:

    I suggest drinking water facility and rest rooms are to be provided in new Metro Stations. It will be convenient for senior cize

  10. Dr Gayatri S Pandit says:

    Nicely written. I could represent my practice in North Bangalore at Columbia Asia hospital Yeshwanthpur only because of Metro.

  11. Suhas says:

    Article is lot of informative,
    It shows difference before and after usage of Namma metro.
    Thanks for collective information shared.
    I am looking for completion of challghatta stretch which connect next Mysore bangalore corrider

  12. Snigdha Sen says:

    Nicely articulated article. Being a resident of gokulam apartment kanakpura road, I too was waiting for metro to open for a long time. Finally we can have a hassle free journey. Even the mantri arena mall nearby doddakaladsandra is getting ready. Nice to see lot of development in this area. My long time favourite KFC is also opening opposite to Anand Bhavan soon.

  13. Vasudev. Bhat M says:

    Connectivity to mallasandra I e holiday villiage road upto kumaran school is not there from vajarahalli metro station except autos. Some minibuses at fixed intervels may help residents of Shriram symphony sriram surabhi godrej apts and purva apts. Please think over it

  14. Rajith says:

    The main moto of the metro is to avoid high pollution. However govt takes it only on profit making business. The metro parkings are the highest charging parings in Bangalore. It charges nearly Rs. 30 for 6-8 hrs parking fee. It is too much. If they are making it some convenient to common public, it can attract more public as avoid traffic in roads.

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