Chaos mars Metro Green line launch

Chaos mars Metro Green line launch

The long-awaited Namma Metro Green line (Sampige Road to Peenya Industry) finally started chugging from Rajajinagar station on Friday evening, but only after a chaotic, much-delayed launch.

The general public can get the first taste of this 9.9-km line at 6 am on Saturday, almost two years and four months after the MG Road - Baiyappanahalli line kicked off the Bangalorean’s Metro dream.

Over three hours behind schedule, the green Metro train was flagged off from the Rajajinagar station by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at 9:05 pm on Friday. The station was packed with hundreds of political bigwigs, their supporters, BMRCL officials and a huge posse of media personnel. The restive crowd heaved a big sigh of relief as the train with three coaches entered the station, followed by another train.

It took another half hour for the doors to open, after the chief minister formally launched the line. Union Railway Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge, who was originally scheduled to flag off the train, was conspicuous by his absence. The platform emptied in no time, almost the entire crowd jamming into the three coaches. Five minutes later, the train was packed well beyond its carrying capacity of 975 passengers.

Amid frenzied political sloga­neering and cheers that threatened to hijack the enti­re event, the train left the station, spelling the completion of a two-year wait. In those fleeting minutes, as the train zipped past congested areas, most passengers momentarily forgot the disorganised start to the whole affair.

But the train on its maiden journey only went as far as the Yeswanthpur station, depriving the media of a glimpse of the apparently unfinished Peenya and Peenya industry stations. On its return trip, the Metro sped past the Mahalakshmi, Sandal Soap Factory, Kuvempu Road and Srirampura stations before halting at the Mantri Square Sampige Road station.

Part of the Reach 3 and 3A, the Peenya Industry to Mantri Square Sampige Road line has 10 elevated stati­ons. With the opening of this line, the total Namma Met­ro rail network in the city has touched 17 km out of the 42.3 km planned under Phase 1.

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