Five-year wait finally ends as BMRCL takes its first step towards ensuring a faster, better and more efficient mass transit system for Bangaloreans; city set to hit the tracks today
After a wait of almost five years and much inconvenience and disappointment, Bangaloreans will finally get to ride on the Reach I of Namma Metro after the inauguration at 10.30 am today.
Even though the Metro rail services have been launched over 584 days later that scheduled, the city is ecstatic and hordes of eager citizens flocked to stations and the State Information Department to secure passes to take the inaugural ride.
The traffic police have restricted movement on many roads
falling on the Metro's Reach I stretch for today
The mad rush has prompted the authorities to transform the department's office into a strict no entry zone to everyone. The city has been eagerly anticipating the Metro to get respite from congested roads and everyday traffic chaos.
Meanwhile, the BMRCL has anxiously been praying that the inaugural event goes off flawlessly. MiD DAY brings you the story so far and gives you the innovative and new facts about what to expect and enjoy on BMRCL's debut Reach I.
Cops on alert
Both the Traffic Police Department and the Law and Order police have worked extremely hard to ensure that the inauguration goes off smoothly.
Dignitaries and prominent personalities from across the country will be present at today's flag off. The traffic police have restricted movement on many roads falling on the Metro's Reach I stretch.
Over 20,000 dignitaries will hop aboard for the inaugural flag off event starting from Byappanahalli Station and ending at the MG Road.
The group would then move to the Manekshaw Parade Ground and therefore the department has planned to shut down traffic and pedestrian movement on crucial stretches leading to the area.
Around 1,000 police personnel have been deputed to secure the area during the inauguration and to take stock of the law and order situation.
"Road will be closed from Anil Kumble Circle to Trinity Circle from 6 am to 4 pm for all motor vehicles. Those motorists plying from Ulsoor and Old Airport Road will have to take a diversion from Brigade Road and while on their return, only Cubbon Road will be open.
Further, parking on Brigade Road, MG Road and Church Street has been suspended. We are aware that this would cause some inconvenience, but it will solve the traffic problem to a large extent," said M A Saleem, ACP Traffic and Security.
The Law and order department of the Police force has also made arrangements to have extra personnel deputed at all Metro Stations. The department has put additional surveillance cameras and civil police have been dispatched to keep a tight vigil on movement in the area.
Arrangements for an extra ambulance have also been made. "We have dispatched the best from the force to maintain the dignity and prestige of the grand event," said Suneel Kumar, Additional Commissioner of police (Law and Order)
Civic body ignored?
While BBMP became the prime target of the media for bad roads and potholes on stretches below the Metro stations, they definitely pulled off a miracle and ensured that the roads have been fixed before the day of the grand inauguration.
However, certain BJP corporators were accused of demanding extra passes for their supporters and families and shockingly, the BMRCL failed to invite BBMP Commissioner H Siddhaiah and Deputy Mayor S Harish. The miffed authorities had to secure their own passes with help from their sources.
"My name is not in the list of invitees and I did not expect this kind of treatment. Most importantly, the Metro authorities did not care enough to include the BBMP commissioner's name in their list of invitees.
The same person who used to conduct night inspections to set things right, does not deserve this kind of treatment," said Harish.
The State Information Department also discreetly complained that their officials had not received invites since several local BBMP corporators barged into their office. They demanded 20-30 media passes, to take their supporters and families along on a Metro ride.
Fast facts about Metro
You can travel from Byappanahalli to MG Road in a mere 12 minutes on the Metro, while a trip by road would take you 45 minutes.
You can only carry a maximum baggage weight of 15 Kg and anything beyond that would require permission.
You can be fined if you spend more than 20 minutes in the Metro station.
Minimum fare is Rs 10 and maximum fare is Rs 15 for Reach I.
One Metro train with three coaches can accommodate 1,000 passengers.
You get to choose from four types of smart cards on the Metro Varshik, Sanchar, Saral and Saraag
First Metro rail in entire South India.
The Metro coaches are three stainless steel-bodied wagons. Though equipped with automated functions, the train will be under the driver's control.
Bangalore Metro is the first Metro rail service in India to introduce an integrated ticketing system for buses and Metro rail.
Bangalore Metro is also the first in the country to have Smartcards that can be refilled online or through scratch cards. It is also the first to introduce a two-in-one ATM cum smartcard.
Namma Metro runs on third rail, which is a method of providing electric power to a railway train. By opting for third rail system, Bangalore Metro has made itself an environment-friendly Metro as it is said to be very energy efficient.