Bangalore: The Metro rail chugged into the IT hub of Bangalore on Thursday, promising the beginning of the end of the city`s traffic woes and becoming a reality almost 30 years after the idea was mooted.
The three-coach service can carry 1,000 commuters and links the eastern suburb of Byappanahalli to MG Road, the city`s most famous youth hang out, covering a distance of 6.7 km.
Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath inaugurated the service which will open to public from 4 pm Thursday. The Metro service will run between 6 am and 10 pm.
Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, several state ministers, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley, and a number of state Congress leaders were present at the inauguration at the decked up MG Road station.
Almost all of them, along with senior officials of the state government and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, special invitees and media personnel took the first ride in the "Namma Metro" (Our Metro) flagged off by Kamal Nath.
The Byappanahalli-MG Road link has six stations and travel time is around 14 minutes.
This is Reach 1 of the first phase of metro.
In another three years, the first phase is to have a 42.3-km network on the East-West (Byappanahalli-Mysore Road Terminal) and North-West (Hesarghatta Cross-Puttenahalli Cross) corridors with 41 stations. The phase-1 has an 8.88-km underground network.
The foundation for the Metro project was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2006.