Namma Metro

Namma Metro also known as Bangalore Metro, is a metro system for the city of Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The agency responsible for its implementation is the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL), a joint venture of the Government of India and the Government of Karnataka. The first stretch (Reach 1) between Baiyyappanahalli and M.G. Road was inaugurated on 20 October 2011. Reach 3 & 3A between Sampige Road and Peenya Industrial Area was inaugurated on 1 March 2014.

A mass transit system for Bangalore was initially conceived as a public-private partnership (PPP) in 1993. The detailed project report (DPR) for Phase I of Namma Metro project was prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and submitted to the BMRCL in May 2003. The final approval on a scheme that incorporated the expertise of DMRC and RITES Limited did not come until April 2006. The DPR prepared by DMRC envisaged a 33 km (21 mi) elevated and underground rail network with 32 stations for Phase I of the project. The proposed gauge was standard gauge unlike the broad gauge on the Delhi Metro network. The rationale for the metro includes reduced journey times, cutting fuel use, accident reduction and lower pollution.

Construction work for Phase I of the project was scheduled to start in 2005 but was delayed by a February 2006 change of government in Karnataka and continued debate over whether the project was financially feasible and appropriate for the city. Finally, on 25 April 2006 the Indian Cabinet approved the project, which was then budgeted at more than₹54 billion (US$900 million) (Later revised to 116.09 billion (US$1.9 billion) for Phase I). In 2006, Navayuga Engineering was awarded the contract to construct Reach 1 of the East-West corridor. The foundation stone for the Phase I construction was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 24 June 2006, and civil construction on Reach I of the line, between M.G. Road and Baiyyappanahalli, commenced on 15 April 2007.

  • Track gauge: Bangalore metro uses standard gauge unlike Delhi Metro. But, the recent studies have found that broad-gauge is suited for Indian conditions as well as long term economical feasibility as India has growing population. Indian metro trains with standard gauge does not provide seating facility and favoured towards standing travel. Ahmedabad Metro has chosen driverless technology and broad gauge as it provides comfort to the passengers. Bangalore metro has not migrated from standard gauge to broad gauge for new lines in the Phase-2 or Phase-3 of the project.
  • Break of gauge with suburban rail: There is a break-of-gauge with proposed suburban rail for Bangalore. This will hinder the seamless door-to-door railway travel between office and home, as well as freight movement between city and suburbs. Any future plan to move the truck movement to the Central business district through the railway trackwill get effected by this (to reduce pollution and congestion on road). Connectivity to the Whitefield ICD can be enhanced by effective use of metro network. As of now movement of freight trucks and heavy construction machinery within city limit happens only in night.
  • Maglev line: BMRC has also not shown interest towards introducing Maglev trains for the new lines.
  • Seating capacity: Seats inside the coaches will not be increased in the phase-2 and phase-3, as in many of the European metros.

Namma Metro was originally scheduled to begin operations in March 2010. After the deadline was missed, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) shifted the deadline to 31 December 2010. It was again changed to 4 April 2011 and then the date of inauguration was set at 15 September 2011. The next deadline set was 26 September 2011 which was also missed. The metro was finally opened to the public on 20 October 2011 at 4 pm IST by Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath. There was an overwhelming response to the metro at the commencement of operations. As per BMRCL sources within first 3 days of operations 169,019 people used this mass transit system. At the end of 4th day about 200,000 passengers had already commuted in Namma Metro. Namma Metro’s first 12-day cumulative revenue was 10 million(US$170,000).

The State Government removed N Sivasailam as MD of Namma Metro on 10 August 2013. He was replaced by Pradeep Singh Kharola. Sivasailam had been appointed BMRCL MD on 12 June 12, 2008, after then managing director V. Madhu was transferred. The Green Line (Reach 3, 3A & 3B) was initially scheduled to be opened for the public by the end of 2012. However, according to the BMRCL, because of the time taken by the Indian Railways to approve works at Swastik Station and Malleswaram 66-metre metro viaduct, the Green Line was expected to open only in April–May 2013. However, the timelines were delayed further.

The 9.9 km Reach 3 and 3A of the Green Line (from Peenya Industry to Mantri Square Sampige Road) was inaugurated by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah by flagging off a train from the Rajajinagar station on 28 February 2014. The train on its maiden journey only went as far as the Yeswanthpur station. On its return trip, the metro train sped past the Mahalakshmi, Sandal Soap Factory, Kuvempu Road and Srirampura stations before halting at the Mantri Square Sampige Road station. With the opening of this stretch, the total Namma Met­ro rail network in the city reached 17 km out of the 42.3 km planned under Phase I.

The line was opened to the public from 6am the following day. BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola stated that about 25,000 passengers travelled on the line on opening day. At the time of the line’s opening, only four of the 10 stations in the stretch of Reaches 3 and 3A, were fully ready to handle operations. Civil works had not been completed at Peenya Industry and Peenya stations, among others. These were covered up by huge paintings, and work was expected to complete only in another two months. BMRC officials estimated that about 35,000 people took the train on Reach 3 and 3A till 10pm on the second day of operations, while the total number of commuters that travelled on the entire network (including the Purple Line) was 60,000. In the first month of operations, 7.62 lakh people at an average of 24,605 people daily used the line, generating a revenue of ₹1.5 crore (US$250,000).