The much-awaited 18.1 km east-west corridor (Purple Line) of Bengaluru Metro was inaugurated Friday and will be thrown open for the public from Saturday morning. The east-west corridor comprises a 5.12-km underground section which makes the Namma Metro or Bengaluru Metro the first in South India to have an operational underground section. The work on the corridor began in 2006 and was delayed because the underground section required tunneling through rocks.
With the opening of the east-west corridor, a total of 28 km of the first phase of Bengaluru Metro, spanning 42 km, has become operational. On the 24-km north-south line, the metro is currently operational in a 10-km stretch in north Bengaluru from Peenya to Swastik Circle. Prior to opening of the east-west line on Friday, only 6.7 km in east Bangalore had been operational on the east-west line.
The small 6.7 km section was opened in October 2011 and has served only as a sample of the transformation that the metro can bring to urban transport in Bengaluru that is reeling under traffic congestion.
The first phase is being built at a cost of Rs 13,800 crore.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the fully-operational east west line would improve commute in the city. The remaining portion of phase-I of Namma Metro would be completed within a few months, he said. “I expect the completion of the all pending works within four months,’’ he said.
“The 72 km phase-II of Namma Metro will cost Rs 26,405 crore and work has already commenced. If all goes well, the phase II of Namma Metro will become operational by 2020. The state government will contribute Rs 9000 crore for this project. It has already released Rs 900 crore. The remaining amount will be released in the near future,’’ Siddaramaiah said. He also said that survey work for phase-III had begun. “In the future, around 20 lakh commuters will use the Namma Metro train service in Bengaluru,’’ he said.
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who attended the inauguration ceremony, assured that the Centre is cooperating with the Karnataka government in realizing phase three of the Metro project for which the feasibility study is underway.
The cost of a train ticket from Biayappanahalli in east Bengaluru to Nayandahalli in west Bengaluru is Rs 40. “It is cheaper than the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus fare.We offer 15 per cent discount for smart card users. There are two smart cards — value and varshik. We expect two lakh commuters to use Namma Metro service from April 30,’’ Bangalore Metro chief Pradeep Kharola said.