Namma Metro’ set to wow Bangaloreans

Aug 18, 2010

With the countdown for operationalising the first lane of the Phase I of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL), Karnataka’s most prestigious ``Nama Metro” project, for regular traffic by December 2010 having already started, Bangaloreans got a glimpse of what is in store for them when the first mock-up of the coach was unveiled.

The model coach stationed on a concrete platform near Anil Kumble Circle was unveiled for public viewing by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa recently as part of the run-up to the inauguration of Namma Metro’s on Reach I between Mahatma Gandhi Road and Byappanahalli covering a 7-kms stretch.

The first set of five trains with each train comprising three cars will arrive from South Korea in October, said a spokesman of BMRCL, adding: The remaining trains will be assembled at the Central public sector undertaking, BEML, and supplied to Namma Metro in a phased manner. 

"Orders have been placed with a consortium comprising BEML, Japanese conglomerate Mitusbishi Group and Korean manufacturer of rolling stock, Hyundai Rotem, for supply of 150 metro coaches at a cost of Rs 1,670.76 crore,” Yeddyurappa said after unveiling the model train.

"Trial/test run is expected to be held on Reach I from Byappanahalli to Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium by November,” the BMRCL spokesman indicated.

Progress of work on Reach I was quite satisfactory, according BMRCL Chairman M Ramachandran, who exuded confidence that the December 2010 deadline for commercial operation would be met. Laying of rails on the completed portions of elevated track was under progress, he said.

Hailed as the fastest growing metropolis not only in India but perhaps one of the hottest  urban cities in the world, Bangalore has its own share of urban problems. Densely populated, it is known on its traffic congestion and inadequate public transportation system. It perhaps has the highest per capita vehicular population in the world. With burgeoning population and urban chaos, it no longer remains the Pensioner’s Paradise or the Garden City endowed with a salubrious climate that was once its USP.
Long history
Efforts were being made over the years to address the city’s woes of public transport system with several proposals ranging from launching a Mass Rapid Transit System, Circular Railway and suburban underground tramway since almost three decades. But none of the schemes or proposals in the pipeline clicked.

In 1982, a study suggested a grandiose Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) of 12.20 kms route length at an estimated cost of Rs 239.15 crore. But in 1983, the Metropolitan Transit Project, an organization of Indian Railways, prepared a feasibility report for provision of suburban rail services on existing lines, a circular railway of 57.9 kms, metro system on two corridors from Rajajinagar to Jayanagar and from Hudson Circle to Krishnarajapuram. Nothing came of it.
After several proposals, the Bangalore Mass Rapid Transit Limited (BMRTL) was finally incorporated by the State Government to implement the mass rapid transit system in 1994. BMRTL in turn asked the IL&FS to carry out a feasibility study for LRT System on Public-Private Partnership. However, though the partner was selected, the project did not take off.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in partnership with RITES prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Bangalore Metro Rail, Phase I in 2003 at the instance of the Government. It proposed two double line corridors: East-West and North-South involving a total length of 33 kms.
BMRCL takes birth
Bangalore Metro Rail Ltd (BMRTL) finally took shape with the Karnataka Government clearing the project in March, 2005 and the Union Government giving its approval in April, 2006. The Rs 6,395crore mega project was kick-started by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on June 24, 2006.

However, BMRTL was renamed as Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) and the project took off in January 2007. The original schedule for completion of Reach I was December 2009. But that was quickly extended by a year.

When it looked as if a further delay was likely, the Yeddyurappa regime gave a big push to Namma Metro and the Government spared no efforts to ensure that the December 2010 would be maintained.

Bangalore Metro traverses through the busy commercial and over-crowded residential areas of the city. The first phase consists of two double-line electrified North-South (Byappanahalli to Mysore Road 18.1 kms) and East-West (Yeshwanthpur to R V Road 14.9 kms) corridors covering a total length of 33 kms. Also, another 9.3 kms North Extension to Hessaraghatta Cross by 5.6 kms and South Extension to Puttenahalli by 3.7 kms, taking the total distance in Phase I to 42.3 kms.

The East-West corridor will be 18.10 kms long, starting from Byappanahalli and terminating at Mysore Road terminal, going via Old Madras Road, Indiranagar, C.M.H. Road, Ulsoor, Trinity Circle, M.G. Road, Cricket Stadium, Vidhana Soudha, Central College, Majestic, City Railway Station, Magadi Road, Hosahalli, Vijayanagar and Deepanjali Nagar.

The 24.20 kms North-South corridor will begin at Hessarghatta Road Terminal and terminate at Puttenahalli going via Mahalakshmi, Rajajinagar, Kuvempu Road, Malleswaram, Swastik, Majestic, Chikpet, City Market, K.R. Road, Lalbagh, South End Circle, Jayanagar and Puttenahalli.

Out of the 42.30 km., 8.822 km. will be underground near City Railway Station, Vidhana Soudha, Majestic and City Market and most of the rest will be elevated.

Out of the 42.30 kms, 8.822 kms will be underground near City Railway Station, Vidhana Soudha, Majestic and City Market and most of the rest will be elevated.
Nearing fruition
The latest progress report, as given out by BMRCL, shows brisk work on all the four reaches indicating that the long wait and ordeal of Bangaloreans to enjoy the benefits of travelling in Namma Metro is nearing fruition.

Work on the 7 kms elevated section in Reach I (Byappanahalli to M G Road) that began in January 2007 is expected to be over in December 2010, while on Reaches II, III and IV (the full network) is expected to be commissioned by September/October 2012.

The entire stretch of Byappanahalli to M G Road is expected to be completed by December 2010.
Not content with the Phase I, the Yeddyurappa regime has decided to extend the North-South Extension at a total cost of Rs 1763 crore comprising Yeshwanthpur to Hessaraghatta Cross Road covering a length of 5.6 kms with six elevated stations at a cost of Rs 1082 crore and R V Road terminal to Puttenahalli Cross on Southern corridor covering a distance of 3.7 kms with three elevated stations at a cost of Rs 681 crore.

Further, the Bangalore Metro has been extended in outlying and rapidly growing regions from Peenya to Bangalore International Exhibition Centre and Byappannahalli and ITPL in the North-South corridor and from Puttenahalli to Anjanapura Layout and between Mysore Road and Kengeri Satellite Town on the East-West corridor to ensure connectivity to almost all the important destinations in Phase II. These extensions to newer routes are proposed to be taken up on public-private-partnership (PPP) model, according to BMRCL, when the total extent covered by Namma Metro will touch 51.3 kms.

Traffic decongestion, comprehensive connectivity, convenience, comfort, affordability, frequency, reliability, safety and aesthetics being the liet motif of Namma Metro, commuters will be encouraged to use the service rather than depend on private vehicles. ``The idea is to complement rather than be the competitive mode of transport and work in tandem with other public transport systems like buses and even mono rail,” said a BMRCL spokesman and said the over-burdened Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses will not run parallel to Metro Rail but act a feeder service. Same will be the case with the proposed Mono Rail system, which will connect major junctions as feeders to the Metro Rail.

The frequency of the Metro trains will be every four minutes initially and increase to three minutes eventually by 2021. The travel time from end to end on the East-West corridor will be 33 minutes and on the North-South corridor will be 44 minutes. The entire system is designed for a maximum train speed of 80 kmph.
Boon to Bangaloreans

Each train with three coaches to start with can accommodate 1000 persons. The number of coaches can be increased to six with the carrying capacity of a six coach train being 2068 persons. It is designed to cater to an estimated 10.20 lakh commuters by 2011 and 16.10 lakh by 2021.

The Metro train fare being considered is around 1.5 times the ordinary bus fare, which is quite affordable to almost all sections of people, and certainly much more economical than the Volvo bus fares or autorickshaws besides being very convenient.

Clearly, when Namma Metro Phase I is fully commissioned by 2012 or at the latest by 2013 and the subsequent phase within a year or two, it will turn out to be a big boon to Bangaloreans and give them a more efficient, economical, convenient and comfortable public transport system in keeping with Bangalore’s growing reputation as the hottest and most happening place to be.

by Gabriel Vaz
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Comment on this article

  • Jason, Dubai

    Thu, Aug 19 2010

    Unlike other government projects, when money is involved, we should ask ourselves how much our ministers have made in the name of "Namma Metro" project and dumped in Swiss bank as personal assets.

  • adshenoy, mangloor

    Thu, Aug 19 2010

    Rome was not built in a day. Likewise Bangaluru can not be built in a day. Bangaluru is doing good. Give time and all will be okay. Bangaluru is Bangaluru.
    NewYork is NewYork and Dubai is Dubai. Think right.

  • Melwin, B'wal/Doha

    Thu, Aug 19 2010

    S.M.K (krishna)ka sapna sbka huwa apna.

  • shaik shakeel, banagalore

    Thu, Aug 19 2010

    What Jai Ho, it should be "Shame Ho" for the past 63 years we dont have a full time train facility between Managlore to Bangalore.The so called "Jai HO" party supports the bus unions and shelves the train project.Shame HO

  • Gilson, Mangalore

    Thu, Aug 19 2010

    Dear Kunal,Thanks for the highlight. The metro cars are called as coaches, I guess due to the fact they resemble coach in facilities such as AC, Seats, Audi-video, etc.,

    Basically these kinds of metro trains would comprise of six, eight,.. cars. These main Rapid system would be interconnected with Local Loop train systems such as Pilot-less Light-Rail-Transit systems that uses often Rubber Tyred Coaches often one or more no of coaches.

    Bengaluru metro seem to have planned for 50 trains. It means with the current 3-coach/car combination, it can have a total of fifty such trains.

    But interestingly the metro construction has/had encountered strange problems. Without knowing the complexity of the ground they were digging, the project seems to have dragged.

    It means, our Bengaluru land has telephone/cable TV/Electric etc lines beneath in hapazhard path, and then drains, etc etc were discovered and needed clearence. Project was not smooth with zero coordination of these bodies.

    Also, without creating a diversion road, the metro authority have narrowed or blocked roads. many shops were closed.

    Project planning is not about building the track, coach, station, but also includes creating emergency features such as Metro Buses in case train halts due to technical snag etc.,

    also, metro platforms need to be glass walled else people may push others onto the track due to congestion/intentionally/uninterntionally.

    So, we dont know the future. Lets wait and see.

  • Vijay, Melbourne

    Thu, Aug 19 2010

    Dear Simon Francis Lasrado,
    Unlike a "bird in the bush" theory.. "A frog in the well" is also not a good person to have in this discussion... When a city like Bangalore is developing at such a fast rate, the public system should also develop that way and not develop by Bangalore standards... Metro will run on tracks and not on Bangalore roads.. which means that the public transport and private vehicles will have lotsa space to run on the roads.What Clara is trying to say is If Metro is done at an international standard.. not only people can get quicker from Point A to Point B , but it will free up the roads for public and private vehicles as well..
    By saying “Why should I visit overseas to find the public transport system” you are sounding like one of the ill-informed citizens. Everyone in India wants Foreign goods and technology.. but end of the day they want to do the rest by Indian standards.. does that help develop a city like Bangalore???
    When people from overseas come to Bangalore , its too difficult to take the public transport because of how it is, but if I went to any other western country .. I would love to travel on public transport only because its quicker, easier and cheaper than a private ride.. now u tell me if I am right or wrong on this ???

  • Pavan, Karkala

    Thu, Aug 19 2010

    After reading several messages, thought of putting my view.

    Kolkata metro was the first to roll, that too a underground project. Quite interesting. Though kicked off in the 80s, rolled out in the 90s.

    No lessons learned or propagated to improve the infrastructure in other places such as Bangalore ? Namma Metro is only realized now 2010.

    Having seated on the trams/buses/trains/metros of over 20 countries, I can only say that Bangalore reacted too late and that too to cater the need of yesterday.

    For the city population, this metro is just a tiny contribution to the transportation mean.

    Having given permission to too many commercial buildings, the state only realized the problems only now, of having all congested roads which cant be broadened any more!

    So, planning commission when plans the project should aim for future needs as well. But if done that way, then - no scope for earning personal gains.

    1.2 billion dollar project with importation of coacehs from Korean/japan industries should be done in one or two beginning projects of India, and the gate should be opened to produce coaches in India. For Railways, we have BEML, etc. But for these low-speed trains, we import stuffs.

    It is as good as importing Su-30s and stopping indigenious LCA which is only fraction of Su-30 cost yet powerful.

    Don't be too appreciative, dont compare too much, see what you are getting is in par with what has been poured into the project. mind it is our tax money, not BJPs.

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Dubai

    Thu, Aug 19 2010

    Dear Mr. Vijay, Melbourne, you are absoultely right, the blind suporters hinder the growth of the city and in the whole the growth of the country. People should come out of their well and see the out side world to know the truth.

  • Simon Francis , Bangalore

    Thu, Aug 19 2010

    Why should I visit overseas to find the public transport system? A bird in bush is better than a bird in sight. Dubai and Melbourne can not be camapared with Namma Bengaluru.Our Bengaluru has its own status.The people who come to Bengaluru to spend holidays from overseas and middle East never bother to travel in the public transport system of Bengaluru.We have very good public transport like Big 10,Pushpak,Volvo,Vayu Vajra,BMTC and etc.Adding to this we have BUS DAY on the 4th of every month.Bus services in Bengaluru is not like Mangalore(rash driving)Most of the time I use to go in public transport system only because of the safety on road.

    Why should I criticize others when we have very public transport system in Bengaluru itself.I dont get anything if I criticize or praise other city's transport system.But I say Bengaluru's transport system is the best in whole of Karnataka and that's why lakhs of lakhs Mangaloreans are working here.And thousands of people of other States coming to Bengaluru and settle here.Today Bengaluru is full of outsideres and real Bengalurians are less here..because they like Bengaluru.It is so because of our present BJP Govt.

  • E K Kadiddlehopper, Seoul, Korea

    Thu, Aug 19 2010

    It makes little sense to run 3-car trains in a city of well over 3,000,000 people! They should start out with at least 6-car trains! In Seoul, Korea we have 18 subway routes, with 10-car trains running every 90 seconds during rush hour. More subway and LRT routes are due to open soon. We do have almost 30,000,000 in the metropolitan area. We love India and have traveled there several times. However, a much larger vision is needed for mass transit railways and high-speed rail in India.

  • Vijay, Melbourne

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    Dear Simon Francis Lasrado,
    You might have been in bangalore for years.. but does not look like you have travelled on public transport for a while.. Sounds like Mr Ashok is a good friend of your that you are praising him soo much... please travel to other cities and overseas and then talk about the public transport in bangalore. Please dont criticize people like Clara.. we need to try and compare ourselves to Dubai and try and develop our city at a rapid rate.

  • Kunal, Mangalore

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    Mr. Gilson, I dont think you have read it properly, the metro arriving from Korea will have 3 coaches and the rest of the coaches will be added soon which is being prepared by BEML and a consortium of other companies. The Metro with 3 coaches will be run on the Reach 1 Stretch which i doubt is not more than 7 - 10 kms. which means it would have around 3 - 4 stations at the most.

  • Bastich, Bangalore

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    Hope they keep it clean. The Pan spitters and the lower middle class community which doesn't have any cleanliness sense should be educated on how to keep public places/artefacts clean!!!

  • loboprem, Bangalore

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    The stations, flyovers..etc., looks clean and worldclass when it comes to photographs.
    When it comes to reality...they would look similar to the junk Majestic railway station.

  • George Rego, Mysore/Kuwait

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    I've been visiting often when I'm my annual vacation and have seen the work of Namma Metro. In my opinion the quality of work is very bad. The finish is very unprofessional. It's no wonder that the quality of work at the Commonwealth Games is also found to be below par. When are we going to learn to do something on such a large scale properly. I was in Banglore during he Global Investors Forum and crore of rupees was spent on the venue and the TV media had a feild day pointing out the bad quality of work. Where is all that money going to?

  • Simon Francis , Bangalore

    Wed, Aug 18 2010


  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Dubai

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    Thank you Mr. Gilson, Mangalore being realistic, truthful and clear about our road and transport system, we need more and more people like you in our society who have better understanding.

  • Gilson, Mangalore

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    Dear Simon, Sullia

    Clara may not be wrong. One has to come out of Bangalore and compare various transport systems.

    Having a 3 bogie train - is not the way to plan the Metro. Even a 6 car coach - cant meet the need of 3 Million people unless you run every coach every 1.5 mins.

    If Metro has to be successful with clean safety records, interval between two coaches should be broadened (esp in India, with careless traffic system). And then platform/car numbers need to be widened.

    So, Why compare and boast the minister. It is tax payers money and results are 15 years delayed. Introducing Volvo etc does not mean a good transportation system. Road condition / Corrupted conductors not issuing tickets etc need to be looked at as well

  • Dinakar, Bangalore

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    We the residents of CMH Road have sacrificed enough and we are still cooperating to make it a big success for B,loreans. But one really wonders the alignment of 1st phase . who are they catering to when the Volvo bus service is so convenient and so friendly in terms of affordability, convenience still its a failure.Metro is not a friendly means of transport for senior citizen,not very convenient for house wife, nor friendly to school & college students with any pass facility, nor in alignment with IT companies added to severe power cut , one wonders the success of operating such a expensive mode of transport. GOD SAVE NEXT GENERATION as it has occupied 30% of the road space.

  • Vazir, Bangalore

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    Thanks Daiji for a detailed & very informative article. Hopefully, Namma Metro will keep its schedule of December 2010 launch of the first phase & the entire project becomes operational within a year or maximum of two years.

    Guys, let us not fight among ourselves as to which minister performed well. P G R Sindhia started the process of revamp of KSRTC, BMTC & other undertakings. Ashok inherited a good, efficient system of state undertakings. Ultimately, it is the employees who are responsible for the growth.

    Though different CMs have contributed, it is Yeddyurappa who really gave a boost as rightly mentioned in the article with generous assistance from the Centre.

    If the public transport system is good & efficient, travelling public will definitely patronise it as is evident from the success of the day and night train services to Mangalore from Bangalore, which are always packed to full capacity, & seats in buses have no takers most of the times. Once Metro materialises, the buses, taxis, autos will surely have a tought time & serious competition.

  • Antony Herbert Crasta, Mangalore

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    In the absence of Metro Train Services, Bangalore faired badly when it came to road traffic congestions and jams, smoke, pollution, and the daily commuters by two and four wheelers suffered badly all these past years, and it is pleasing to note that finally the Metro will start functioning, and hopefully, it will take away quite a bit of vehicles from the road, which in turn will drastically improve the road traffic conditions and total environment and quality of life.

  • SP Shetty, Mlore UAE.

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    Gr8 News .. JAI HO BJP ....

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Dubai

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    Dear Mr. Simon Francis Lasrado, Sullia/Bangalore
    I am residence of Fernhill Gardens, Koramangala, Bangalore, our Housing society provides bus service to its residence mainly because there was no proper public transportation available in the city and we pay extra maintenace for this service, and some how the riksaw drivers cheat public once they come to know they are visitors, I only give the example how people can save their time by travelling by metro thats it, and my intension was not to hurt any one.

  • Simon Francis Lasrado, sullia/Bangalore

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    We are just waiting for the metro train services to start to avoid all these traffic hazards and traffic jam especially on Old Madras road and other parts of Bengaluru.Dear Clara,do not compare Dubai to namma Bengaluru.Who told you that public transport system in Bengaluru is very bad? That is the wrong calculation.The BMTC service in Bengaluru is doing fantastic job comparing to other cities in Karnataka.Mr.Ashok the transport Minister does the very good job.I have been living in this city since 30 years and no transport Minister so far has done so good works like Mr.Ashok. And today I am proud to be a Bengalurean having the services of Metro and BMTC bus services

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Dubai

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    Its great news the metro in India's Garden city Bangalore, the public transport system was very bad in the city. In Dubai by metro people reach one destination to other within minutes, which earlier use to take hours to reach, the Bangalore city so far maintain its cleanliness and beauty.

  • Lancelot N Tauro, Mangalore/Doha Qatar

    Wed, Aug 18 2010

    Its good move for beautiful city beutiful metro train like Dubai. But Pan Spitters commuters should be stricltly warned and punished

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