Byappanahalli, the metro's starting point

Byappanahalli, the metro's starting point

Byappanahalli, the metro's starting point

As December 2010, the deadline for completion of the Bangalore Metro project (Reach-1) draws nearer, construction of a critical element of the project --the stations-- are progressing briskly.

But once complete, these stations ought to be networked to other modes of transport. For, commuters will expect a seemless, hassles-free and quick transition.
Once complete, a total of 41 stations on a 42.30 km route (Phase 1) of ‘Namma Metro’  are expected to be hubs of public transport activity. Commuters will definitely look up to these as escape routes from the traffic logjams that reign on the roads today.

 The first of the stations, the Byappanahalli Station is being constructed by a consortium of IVRCL-CR18G. Dubbed as the most important of the stations, since it is housed adjacent to the depot, (where the train is parked at nights and serviced), this station is likely to be completed by September 2010, to coincide with the arrival of rolling stock from Rotem, Korea in October of 2010.
The first set of train cars will then operate out of the Baiyappanahalli station. The station will also have in its proximity a satellite bus station of the  KSRTC where commuters from inter-State buses can alight and board a Metro to their destination.

Once complete, all Metro stations will have a concourse, platforms, and public amenities such as toilets, ATM’s, coffee/ tea kiosks, escalators/elevators for the handicapped and ticketing counters.
However, no station will have commercial activity taking place, so as to prevent a large number of people from gathering and causing disturbance to metro commuters. Travel on the Namma Metro is expected to be hassle free, with the introduction of a automatic fare collection system, through a ‘Smart Card’ that is expected to be introduced in December 2010.

Discussions are currently on at a preliminary stage between BMRC and the BMTC to also have a common ticketing system from 2011, informed officials.

The Byappanahalli station is expected to cater to residents and office goers of K R Pura, Indiranagar, Jeevanbhima Nagar, HAL 2nd and 3rd stages, Whitefield, Domlur, Maratahalli, HRBR layout and Kalyan Nagar and will be supported by a Satellite Bus Terminus/Intermodal Transit Centre of the KSRTC and BMTC that has been proposed at the site of the old NGEF factory.
Construction of this terminus has also begun and is expected to be completed to coincide with the opening of the Baiyappanahalli station. BMTC buses will serve as feeder services to the Metro, after its commissioning.

Pawan Shankar, an entrepreneur: “Residing on Old Madras Road is nothing less than a daily nightmare. The pollution levels have increased over the years. The construction of Metro work has only compounded the problem. As entry into 100 ft is barricaded, vehicles have to go through residential areas to reach Domlur”

Shakuntala Rao, a doctor: “Indiranagar is no longer the quiet and posh neighbourhood it used to be. Rapid commercialisation and the decision to align the Metro, might be good for public transport, but it has ruined the tranquility of the area. Roads are not being swept/cleaned by BBMP for weeks together, despite increase in dust from Metro related construction activity”

Linking Metro to SW Railways

The Byappanahalli metro station will also have proximity to a world class railway station being developed by the South Western Railway in the locality.
In the pipeline is a link between the two stations, and conversion of the vacant railway land in its vicinity, running into 200 acres, into a terminal.

Once this is completed, train passengers can alight inter-State trains at Byappanahalli and get on to the Metro station to reach various points of the City. This is also expected to ease vehicular traffic on Old Madras road.

Traffic chaos, the mantra of Old Madras Road now

For years, motorists using the Old Madras Road near Byappanahalli had endured pot-holes galore and traffic chaos on the poorly maintained stretch. The asphalting of the road a few years back made a remarkable change in driving experience.

But today, the Metro Rail construction along the stretch has brought the horrors of old back.
The OM Road is a critical link between the City and the IT hub in Whitefield and beyond. On the stretch near the Metro construction, the road runs along the Indiranagar BDA shopping complex, several apartment and commercial complexes. Users of this road would have expected the project not to disturb this stretch.

Today, traffic bottlenecks have emerged at the OM Road’s junction with Suranjan Das road, the Indiranagar 80 feet and 100 feet roads. A smooth ride on this stretch is history. With hardly any traffic police personnel to man these junctions, chaos reigns, particularly during peak hours.

Local traders and residents say jurisdictional problems between government agencies have made matters worse and delayed timely road/highway repairs on Old Madras Road. They even voice concern that traffic policing is way below the expected standard, resulting in perennial vehicle snarls.