On a slow track

On a slow track

Metro connectivity

On a slow track

The number of vehicles on the road are growing by the day making travel a misery for commuters. Given the notorious traffic jams in the southern part of Bengaluru, commuters are eagerly waiting for the Metro Rail to function in the southern corridor, at least in the elevated stretch. The civil works between National College and Puttenahalli, which is eight-kilometre long, has been completed and testing is left to be done.

The delay is, however, irking people in South Bengaluru who are battling with traffic pile-up on a daily basis. CN Kumar, a management consultant and resident of Jayanagar, says that he has now got used to the traffic jams. “The Metro Rail will shorten the travel time and make our lives easier but the delay is exasperating. It would have been nicer if the authorities had stuck to the deadline. Once it starts functioning, it will help commuters who travel from South Bengaluru to the heart of the City,” says Kumar.

Manohar has been living in Jayanagar for as long as he can remember. He runs a digital printing unit business in Peenya and takes two buses to get to his workplace everyday. “The only route to Majestic is through JC Road and the road leading to it is always jam-packed. When the Metro Rail is functional, I would be able to take the Metro directly to Majestic and the Metro Station is just a few minutes walk from my house,” he says. But Manohar says that the real benefit of Metro Rail will be seen only after it is fully connected.

The civil work between National College and Puttenahalli, a stretch that connects the inter-change station at Kempegowda Station to important points like the City Civil Court, the High Court, Vidhana Soudha, Minsk Square, MG Road, Mayo Hall before terminating at Baiyappanahalli, has been completed. Track-laying, signalling and telecommunication works have also been completed and only the testing is pending.

Why the delay then? Vasanth Rao, General Manager, Finance, Taxation and Resources, BMRCL, who is an integral part of the project, explains, “Track-testing along with signalling and telecommunication takes about three months after which the Commissioner of Railway Safety will conduct independent testing and other formalities before issuing the safety certification necessary for the commercial operation of the Metro services. It’s a long process.”

He further states that the North-South underground section is causing the delay in conducting the testing operation along the elevated section between National College and Puttenahalli. “The track testing at Reach 2, that is, from Magadi Road Station to Mysore Road Station was made possible because we are able to move the train through the underground section from Cubbon Park Station to Magadi Road Station on the tracks laid in the underground East-West section. While the civil works at the East-West section have been completed, the civil works at the underground section of North-South section is still underway,” explains Vasanth Rao. 

Sanjay Nadgouda, a businessman and a resident of South Bengaluru, thinks it’s a far-fetched thing to even think of driving on open roads in Bengaluru. “The Metro train from the southern part of the City would certainly serve the purpose of short distance travels. “Those who travel in the City a lot will still have to travel by their own transport. Limited access of Metro Rail won’t help. Only when it is fully connected, will it make a significant difference to the traffic of not only South Bengaluru but the City as a whole,” he reasons.

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