Bengaluru: Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday flagged-off the much awaited East-West corridor of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) - south India's first underground metro.
"Namma Metro is to provide better commuting facilities in the city and all out efforts would be made to complete the remaining portion of the phase I of Namma Metro within a few months," said Siddaramaiah, highlighting his government's attempts to provide better infrastructure in Bengaluru and sought further assistance from central government.
"Phase II of Namma Metro would cost Rs.26,405 crore and the work has already commenced. If all goes well, it will become operational by 2020. The state government will contribute Rs.9,000 crore for this project and it has already released Rs.900 crore till now. The remaining amount will be released in the near future," he said.
The chief minister said the survey work for Phase III has already started, and BMRCL aims to facilitate 20 lakh commuters to take the Metro in the future.
Assuring Karnataka of all assistance, Naidu said: "I assure the state government that central government will extend all help for the phase III of Namma Metro."
Stressing on the need to decongest public roads, he appealed the general public to shun personal transport and utilise public transport.
"I want more and more people use public transport to avoid traffic jams on the city roads. I want software companies to encourage their employees to prefer car pooling. It will be good if people use bicycles."
With a 5.12 km underground section, the east-west corridor passes beneath some of the city's most iconic landmarks such as the Vidhan Soudha, the GPO, Cubbon Park, the high court and others.
Thousands of government employees working in several offices stand to benefit hugely along with the general public from the new Namma Metro link.
The extended Metro will stretch from Baiyappanahalli to Nayandahalli and fare between the two points has been fixed at Rs.40.
With Namma Metro as option, the hours-long commute on wheels from Mysuru Road in the west to Baiyappanahalli in the east, a distance of 18 km, will reduce to around a little over 30 minutes. The metro will have a frequency of 10 minutes.