Bangalore: The Diwali gift for Bangaloreans is ready. Riding on the hopes of lakhs of commuters who have to spend hours travelling a few kilometres on the narrow roads of the IT boomtown, the Bangalore metro rail ‘Namma Metro’ is ready for action starting October 20.
The final go ahead was given and 11 am on October 20, Thursday, was set as the date for the inauguration after Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety handed over the safety certificate for the nine-km-long Byappanahalli-M G Road line, part of the first phase of project aimed at provided seamless connectivity across the fast growing metropolis.
The line would be opened for public later in the day. Passenger entry to stations and purchase of tickets at the stations will start from 3 pm onwards. Tickets for the inaugural section have been priced between Rs 10 and 15.
The Byappanahalli-M G Road section will have four stations - Swami Vivekananda Road, Indiranagar, Halasuru, Trinitye – and a train frequency of 10 minutes in peak hours, with operational timing being 6 am to 9 pm.
As per reports, trains would run at a curtailed speed of 68 km/hour as against the originally granted 75 km/hour.
The first phase consists of two corridors covering a total of 42.30 km. Phase I has further been divided into four ‘reach’. The Byappanahalli-MG Road section, which would be inaugurated on Thursday, is the first reach.
The East-West corridor will be 18.10 km long, starting from Baiyappanahalli and terminating at Mysore Road terminal, going via Swami Vivekananda Road, Indiranagar, Halasuru, Trinity, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Cricket Stadium, Vidhana Soudha, Central College, Majestic, City Railway Station, Magadi Road, Hosahalli, Vijayanagar and Deepanjali Nagar.
The 24.20 km North-South corridor will begin at Nagadandra and terminate at Puttenahalli going via Mahalakshmi, Rajajinagar, Kuvempu Road, Malleswaram, Swastik, Majestic, Chikpete, City Market, KR Road, Lalbagh, South End Circle,Jayanagar and Puttenahalli.
Out of the 42.30 km, 8.822 km will be underground near City Railway Station, Vidhana Soudha, Majestic and City Market and most of the rest will be elevated.
The Phase II, which will be executed after the end of Phase I, will have a route length of 70 kilometres.
Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda had invited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to inaugurate the Metro Rail, but now the line would be inaugurated by Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath.
The other dignitaries who have confirmed their participation are Union Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi, Union Minister of State for Railways KH Muniyappa, Union Minister for Corporate Affairs M Veerappa Moily, Union Minister for Labour and Employment Mallikarjuna Kharge, former chief minister of Karnataka Dharam Singh and Japanese ambassador Akitaka Saiki.