For Namma Metro, 2017 will be the year it finally happens. After too many missed deadlines and broken promises, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) is set to compete the whole of Phase I by April 2017. Once its entire 42 km becomes operational, the ridership is likely to go up from 1.8 lakh to 5 lakh.
“Initially, we expect about 5 lakh people to use the Metro every day, but this number will likely increase in the subsequent months. The year 2017 will also see the commissioning of Metro works under Phase II (all reaches, including the underground stretch),” said a senior BMRCL official. Currently, under Phase I, the entire east-west corridor of Baiyappanahalli to Mysore Road, and Nagasandra to Sampige Road, is operational. The 12-km stretch between Sampige Road to Yelachenahalli is not operational yet. Trial runs between National College and Yelachenahalli are on.
The BMRCL had first inaugurated Reach 1, between Baiyappanahalli and MG Road, in 2011 after which the Metro has seen five inaugurations. The last one to be opened was the underground stretch of the east-west corridor, in April 2016. In the last five years, over 24.9 lakh new vehicles have hit the city roads that are barely able to hold the traffic. Metro is expected to give a big respite to the commuting populations, with the number of private vehicles likely to come down on the Metro corridors.
AN EXPENSIVE PROJECT
Namma Metro’s Phase I was initially sanctioned for a 33-km stretch in 2006. The work on the ground started only in 2008. In 2010, sanction was given to extend the project to 42.3 km. The initial cost of the project was Rs 8,158 crore (for 33 km), which was revised to Rs 11,609 crore. Later, it further escalated to Rs 13,845 crore.
To implement the project, other than from central and state governments funding, the BMRCL borrowed Rs 4,032 crore from financial institutions, including foreign agencies.
WHEN WORK BEGINS
While Phase I will be a huge relief for Bengalureans in that corridor, others may have to brace for mega traffic jams, starting 2017. Going by the Metro track record, 2017 may be the beginning of traffic jams especially in the tech corridors as Metro will be reaching Whitefield and Electronics City. To begin with, the traffic on the entire Outer Ring Road (from Jayadeva Circle towards BTM Layout) will be affected in a big way.
As it is, the road is congested, now the Metro’s plan to raze the Jayadeva Circle flyover will only make matters worse. The BMRCL claims that once the entire Phase I and Phase II becomes operational, covering a total distance of 114 km and connecting major IT hubs of Whitefield and Electronics City, more than 14 lakh people would travel in the Metro daily.
The BMRCL will spend Rs 26,405 crore to build infrastructure over 72 km, including an underground stretch of 13 km from Dairy Circle to Nagawara. Under Phase II, it has already taken up construction work on two stretches: Mysore Road and Kanakapura Road. The construction work on these and other stretches, including the underground stretch, will start in 2017.
Credits Bangalore Mirror