President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday inaugurated the long-awaited phase 1 of the Bengaluru Metro, also known as Namma Metro. The 42-km long phase I of Bengaluru Metro is ready to begin full- fledged operations. According to Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited, over five lakh people are expected to use the metro daily after commercial operations begin.
The first phase of the project was initiated in 2005 and was estimated to be completed by March, 2015. But the project, missing several deadlines mainly due to tunnelling work on an underground stretch in the heart of the city, has finally seen the light of the day. A 6.7-km overhead stretch on the east-west purple line in the central business district was opened to the public in October 2011. Subsequently, small stretches were opened for public use in March 2014, May 2015, November 2015 and in April 2016. The cost for the phase I had escalated from the initial projection of Rs 11,600 crore to Rs 14,200 crore.
The first phase of the project comprises two lines — an 18-km east-west stretch and a 24-km north-south stretch. The first phase comprises a 33.48-km elevated section and a 8.82-km underground section. There are a total of 40 stations, 33 elevated and seven underground, and the maximum travel time on any stretch is 44 minutes. The President inaugurated a 12-km stretch on the north-south green line, connecting Sampige Road and Yelachenahalli.
Work on the second phase of the Metro, comprising 61 stations and spread over 72.10 km, has already begun.