It is no longer a metro-politan affair

Last Updated 23 June 2014, 14:23 IST

Earlier, the announcements at Metro stations and inside the trains were made in three languages — English, Kannada and Hindi.

But now, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) has started making more announcements in Kannada as a result of which the Hindi announcements have been reduced. 

   This decision has not gone down well with the commuters who confess that they prefer the announcements to be made in all three language because Bangalore has a good mix of people from across the country.  

 Confirming the news, Pradeep Singh Kharola, managing director, BMRCL, says, “We don’t plan to remove the Hindi announcements. But yes, we will increase the number of Kannada announcements. These are on a trial basis because they have to be computerised and managed accordingly. It will take time.” 

A senior officer with the BMRCL comments that this recent decision to give prominence to just one language isn’t fair considering the diverse nature of the City.

 “Both the Central and State Governments have an equal stake in the Metro Rail project. Although, it is a good thought to give more importance to the local language, the three-language policy is good for the City. It is more commuter-friendly,” reasons the official. 

The commuters are clearly unhappy with the change. They say while English works best in the City, learning an additional language or two is inevitable. Jitesh, a professional, wonders why the BMRCL officials want to cut down on the number of languages.

“Every announcement should be made in at least two languages. My point is only Hindi or Kannada will not serve the purpose. For instance, people from the neighbouring states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil may not follow only Hindi or Kannada.

 An announcement in all languages would be a good move,” he states. Shiv, who runs his own business, lives and works in Whitefield. 

 He hops onto the Metro Rail and comes to the heart of the City only when he needs to shop and do a little sight-seeing.

 He says firmly, “Announcements on any public transport system should be made in as many languages as possible. Nowadays, everyone talks about globalising the economy.

Then why restrict the announcements on Metro Rail only to a few languages?” Suman, a consultant, agrees. “Although English is the preferred language of communication, the more languages we hear and talk, the better it is,” she states. 

Mani, who has relocated to the City from Chennai, says that he understands only English, Hindi and Tamil. 

   “The Metro Rail is a public transport system and announcements must be made in as many languages as possible. The decision seems unfair in a City like Bangalore where we have people from every corner of the country,” he sums up. 

(Published 23 June 2014, 14:23 IST)

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