Namma Metro Service – Ready, steady and go on 20-10-2011

Read this article about the inauguration and salient features of the Reach -1 of the Namma Metro Rail Service from MG Road to Baiyapanahalli a distance of about 7 km by the Union Urban Development Minister Sir Kamal Nath by flagging off the train at a function presided over by the chief Minister, Japanese ambassador to India and other dignitaries of the Karnataka State.

Namma Metro EmblemInauguration

Namma Metro Rail Inauguration

Starting date of namma Metro rail is 20th October, 2011. The inauguration was postponed several times but now the countdown has already started. Everybody have some expectation about the service of Metro and whether the metro will be able to come up to the expectation is to be seen. However the reach -1 between M G Road to Baiyapanahalli is only a short stretch of about 7 k m and will be too short a distance to measure any performance on that. Any way the thrill and the anxiety and anticipation of the public will be met on the 20th. The Inauguration is by the Union Urban Development Minister, Sri Kamal Nath by his flagging of the 1st Metro train with the function presided over by the State Chief Minister Sri D V Sadananda Gowda in the presence of S/s Dinesh Trivedi, Union Railway Minister, Veerappa Moily, Union Minister for Corporate Affairs, Mallikarjuna Kharge, Union Minister for Labour and Employment, K H Muniappa, Union Minister of State for Railways, Dharam Singh, former CM and the Japanese Ambassador, Akitaka Saiki.Today at 4 pm the first train of Namma Metro will roll out of the Baiyapanahalli Terminus fulfilling the expectation, wishes or aspirations of the Bengaluruians in particular and the Kannadigas in general. This will herald in a new era in the I T capital of Asia, the silicon valley of Asia, the new face of India – Bengaluru City. Arrangements, decorations, facelifts and the round the clock petrol by police (to prevent untoward incidents) ready not only at the Baiyapanahalli Station from where the inauguration is scheduled, but at all the 6 stations between the Terminus and the MG Road Metro Station covering a distance of 6.7 km. The train will cover this distance in about 14 minutes. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) officials can feel a sense of achievement today for the completion of a part (though small) of the total project of the Phase -1 of Namma Metro. They had to cope with several problems on their way to reach this reach-1 of the project.

Namma Metro reach one service – utility/deficiencies

Metro TrainThis inauguration of the 20th is to meet the public anticipation that the wait is over and the Namma Metro starts its run from tomorrow – 20-10.2011. Other than that it does not serve much purpose. The distance is very short. And the places covered are not of much consequence in the overall usage. If the starting point were to be from Majestic instead of MG Road and the present terminal were to be at least ITPL the usage could have justified the run. Similarly the service schedule between 6 am to 10 pm will also be of not much use. The Metro starts much after and shuts much earlier to the start and stop schedule of the BMRTC's first and last buses. The persons who have to work in the 2nd shift or those who attend the late city visitors, Call Centers or Medical Transcription jobs will find the Metro shut by the time their duty time is over. Now it is only like the showcasing the project a trial of Metro in Bengaluru. However it may serve the purpose of boosting the image for the Bengaluru City. Another point is that the frequency will be with 10 to 15 minutes gap. While it may be sufficient during the off peak (slack traffic period) for peak traffic periods the frequency may be very much inadequate. If there is no provision for parking facilities for the feeder buses at the metro stations, there will be chaos to the traffic alongside the Metro route. At the moment the distance being very short, the use will mostly be restricted to fun riders. And the commuting will continue to be in their personal vehicles or other modes. Another damper for the reach one is that with such a short distance the fare at 150% of bus fare. If we look at the reach one, we may conclude that for the changes the Metro made to the MG Road look and the demolitions of several buildings on the CMH Road, is not worth as the reach -1's only utility being satisfaction for the joy riders for the time being. To compensate this disadvantage let us hope the authorities take steps to complete the 1st Phase on a priority basis.

Namma Metro's 1st Phase Corridors

The first phase of metro will have two corridors of double line electrical rails covering a distance of about 42 and half km. The East – West corridor will be from Baiyapanahalli Terminus to Mysore Road Terminal of about 18 km and will cover the areas of S V Road, Indiranagar, Ulsoor, Trinity Circle, M G Road, Cricket Stadium, Vidhana Soudha, Central College, Majestic, City Railway Station, Magadi Road, Hosahalli, Vijayanagar and Deepanjali Nagar. The North – South corridor of about 24.20-km distance starts at Nagasandra and terminates at Puttenahalli. The line passes through Mahalakshmi Layout, Rajajinagar, Kuvempu Road, Malleswaram, Swastik, Majestic, Chikpet, City Market, K R Road, Lalbagh, South End Circle and Jayanagar. Both the phases together will cover a distance of about 42.30-km distance. Out of the total distance around 8.822 km will be through underground near the City Railway Station, Vidhana Soudha, Majestic and City Market. Most of the rest of the lines will be elevated routes. There will be 41 Metro Stations on 1st phase. The Reach -1 of the 1st phase will have 6 stations at Baiyapanahalli, Swami Vivekananda Road, Indiranagar, Ulsoor, Trinity and MG Road and the distance from point to point will be just 6.7 km. This will add to the face value of Bengaluru City with the population of about 9.6 million. The utility of this reach will almost be nil as pointed out above. When the 1st Phase of both the corridors is completed it may meet with a portion of the public transport requirement, if coordinated with the BMTC and Railways.

Unsung Heroes or the unseen hands behind Metro

Namma Metro LabourersIt will be a matter of ungratefulness if we do not pay our tributes to those who work or rather toil day and night for the Metro to be functional, who cannot expect to have a ride of even the shortest distance of between 2 stations of the Namma Metro. While all others who have very little contribution in the Metro project gets all the publicity and media glare, the ones who really contributed for the project by their back breaking labour through the thick and thin of the seasons, through the festivals, through the scorching summer, the drenching rain and chilling winter, through the fear of falling down from the height or something heavy falling on them are the ones responsible for the realisation of the project. They are the workers of the Namma Metro project who are from all parts of the country, from the East, North, West and south. Some of them are there in Bengaluru for the Metro work from inception that means more than 2 years without being able to go to their place to see their families. For the reach -1 there are 600 workers involved. For the entire phase -1 project the total number of workers employed are about 3500.

Position of other Reaches of Namma Metro

a. Reach 2 From Magadi Road to Mysore Road Terminal the work to the extent of about 70% is over.

b. Reach 3 From Swastik to Yeshwantpur the work of about 50% on the whole can be considered as complete. In some sections about 80 to 90 % are complete. But there are some bottle necks.

c. Reach 3A From Yeshwantpur to Peenya Depot the work on this stretch is complete to the extent as about 75%.

d. Reach 3B From Peenya Village to Hesaraghatta Cross the work to the extent of about 50% is over.

e. Reach 4 From K R Market to R V Road Segment around 60 to 70 % of the work can considered as over.

f. Reach 4A From R V Road to Puttenahalli the overall completion can be taken as at 50%.

BMTC feeder services are arranged from and to the stations of M G Road, Trinity Circle, Ulsoor Station, Indiranagar Station, S V Road Station and Baiyapanahalli Station.

Namma Metro – better late than never

The Metro rail should have come long back when the proposal drafted in the year 1982 was pursued which at that time would have cost only Rs 650 crores instead of the Rs 13, 000/- cost of today. In 1982 a proposal for a comprehensive Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) was prepared, but it went into cold storage for years for various reasons. It was finally approved in 2006. The idea of MRTS was first brought by the then Minister of State for Railways in the Union Cabinet, Mr C K Jaffer Sharief. The successive Governments of the Karnataka State were not much bothered about the suggestion. Then when Sri S M Krishna became the Chief Minister of the State, he revived this proposal along with several other measures to modernize and industrialise the city and the state and finally on the 24th of June, 2006 the Prime Minister Sri Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the Namma Metro. After 5 years this stretch of Reach – 1 the citizens of the city can make use of the facility. Anyway there is a say that ‘better late than never'. The present stretch will have only a marginal effect of easing the traffic of the city.

Namma Metro Milestones

1. Foundation stone was laid by P M Sri Manmohan Sing on 24th June 2006.

2. Viaduct construction and demolition of MG Road boulevard started in April 2007.

3. During September, 22010 the work of viaduct construction was complete.

4. Trial run of the 1st train was done at the Baiyapanahalli depot.

5. The technical test run was done in Feb 2011, between Baiyapanahalli and MG Road.

6. The RDSO completed its oscillation and emergency brake distance trials.

7. The Railway CMRS starts the safety inspection of Namma Metro Rail on 4-9-2011.

8. On 23-9-2011 CMRS releases the authorization to open the Reach -1 section for passengers.

9. On the 20th of October, 2011 the Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath to flag off the train as inauguration function in the presence of C M and other dignitaries. Metro Route

Namma Metro Phase – 2

All along we have been discussing about the phase -1 and the Reach-1. Now on the eve of the flagging off of the service, the Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI)has urged the Union urban Development Minister to sanction the 2nd phase of the Namma Metro Project. They informed the minister that the KArnataka State Government has already given green signal for the 2nd phase of 72.1 km with an estimated cost of Rs 21,000 crores. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has done a survey and given a project report for the phase 2 of the Namma Metro to cover the stretches of Baiyapanahalli to White field; Mysore Road to Kengeri; Hesaragatta cross to Bangalore International Exhibition center; Puttenahalli to Anjanapura; R V Road Terminal inter change station on the North South corridor of Phasae-1 to Bommasandra and the Gottigere Indian Institute of Management (I I M) to Nagwara. The Phase – 1 is expected to be completed in 2014 and by that time the present phase will be inadequate and hence the need to cover the important extensions of the city. Let us hope that the Central Government also clears the project and the announcement is made at the inauguration function and the work starts without delay like the 1st Phase
Some other features of Namma Metro

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