BENGALURU: Deciding to ignore the nail-biting cricketing clash between India and Pakistan, South Bengalureans chose to queue up outside the Yelachenahalli Metro station in their Sunday best much before 4pm to hop on board the first train open for public from South Bengaluru.
Smiling, posing for cameras, taking selfies and even chanting ‘Namma Metro ki jai’ during their patient wait outside the station, the open outpouring of joy revealed how much the opening of this long-due stretch meant to Bengalureans.
When the shutters outside the station were opened at 3.50pm, there was a mad scramble to dash to the four ticketing counters. The frisking and security staff had a tough job trying to restrain the crowd desperate to somehow get into the maiden train.
However, only some of them could hop on board as the 10-minute gap before the departure of the train was just not enough to cater to the long queues outside each counter. Half an hour later when BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola witnessed the mad scramble for tokens first hand, he ordered the opening of four more counters at Yelachenahalli.
Meanwhile, as the first train began moving at sharp 4pm, the 100-odd people in the train started smiling and shouting in joy. D B Nagaraj was smiling a little more than the rest because he managed to get hold of the precious first token. “I waited for an hour today to have the first ride. This will change my life totally as it will help me commute fast up to Majestic daily in connection with work. Waited to see this happen for five years,” he said.
As the train stopped for 30 seconds at each of the newly launched 12 stations including JP Nagar and Banashankari, a new bunch of first-time Metro travellers rushed eagerly on board. With no announcements on board, passengers were found asking one another which station had arrived.
The train touched Nagasandra at 4.44pm. S Nagesh, a businessman who brought his wife and two little children along, said, “I have to commute daily from my residence in Yelachenahalli up to Nagasandra in connection with my work. Both my destinations now get connected at one go.”