The state government and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd’s haste in inaugurating Reach 3 and Reach 3A of Namma Metro (Sampige Road to Peenya Industry) before the model code of conduct is announced led to chaos on Friday evening, with the event being delayed by close to 3 hours.
The Metro was supposed to be flaged-off at 6.30 pm from the Rajajinagar Metro station. However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was held up at Gulbarga and arrived at the station just after 9 pm. The train ride itself was mostly hijacked by party workers who crowded into the compartments and shouted slogans in praise of Congress leaders.
With work still pending at some of the stations, the ride began at Rajajinagar and ended at Yeshwantpur (three stations before Peenya Industry). Although stations were decorated in the purple and green colours of Namma Metro, it was obvious that minor works were still pending.
The ruling Congress government may have hoped to gain political mileage from the flagging off of Reach 3, 3A and the foundation stone laying ceremony for Phase 2 of Namma Metro, but failed miserably in its attempt. The foundation stone laying ceremony began just before 10 pm, by which time, the thousands who had gathered at Kanteerava Stadium, which has a holding capacity of over 45,000 people, had dwindled to a crowd of barely 500 people.
While thanking the Union government for approving Phase 2 of the Metro project, the CM assured citizens that works would be completed five years after they begin.
“Between Sampige Road and Peenya and MG Road and Baiyappanahalli, 17 km of the total 42 km of Phase 1 of Namma Metro is operational. 88 per cent of work on the remaining stretches have been completed and the entire phase is expected to be operational in about a year,” he said.
“Many believe that the Metro will take away autorickshaw customers, but I do not think this is true. Autorickshaws will act as feeders to the Metro. Over 20,000 people travel in Reach 1 of the Namma Metro and at least one lakh people are expected to travel in this reach,” he said.
“Once Phase 2 of the project is also operational, different parts of the city will be connected and this in turn will reduce traffic problems in the city,” he said.
Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily, noting that the Namma Metro project was a success because of the Union government’s assistance, also thanked residents who had given up their land for Phase 1 of the project.
FARES from Sampige Road
Srirampuram - Rs 10
Kuvempu Road - Rs 13
Rajajinagar - Rs 14
Mahalakshmi Layout - Rs 16
Sandal Soap Factory- Rs 17
Yeshwantpur- Rs 19
Yeshwantpur Industry - Rs 21
Peenya - Rs 23
Peenya Industry - Rs 23