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Prez inaugurates new line of Bengaluru Metro

Prez inaugurates new line of Bengaluru Metro

It escalated to Rs 13,845 crore on account of delays, including time taken for tunneling the underground sections through the rocky substrata in parts of the city.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Urban Development Minister and Information Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu said the Centre would announce a new metro policy featuring innovative financing, and add a list of new cities to the Smart Cities Project on June 23.

However, he acknowledged India was late to introduce metro "by several decades", primarily because of doubts about cost-benefit ratio, nonetheless there was "no looking back" after the project first rolled out in kolkata in 1984.

Stating that the metro rail in London began in 1863, Mukherjee said that India was well behind in railways and transportation even though the first train in India was operational in 1853.

The underground section will connect Nagasandra in the northern part of the city with Yelachanahalli in the southern part, Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola said.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said that drilling tunnels through the hard rock, proximity to the water table and adopting modern technologies were some of the major challenges that the project faced.

"Increasing congestion on roads, worsening air quality and related time and health issues were making the city economically inefficient", he said, suggesting that projects like "Namma Metro" will have far reaching impact on infrastructural, economic and social aspects of a city.

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He said the government has made a decision to move towards promoting "efficient" public transport systems such as metro rail to check increasing pollution in urban areas.

Siddaramaiah said that the state government is also planning expansion of the Metro network to the Kempe Gowda International Airport in the city.

"Around 517 kilometres is under construction in various cities, including Delhi and NCR, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kochi, ahmedabad, nagpur and lucknow and another around 522 kilometres is under consideration", he said.

Besides Union and Karnataka governments, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and AgenceFrancaise De Development (AfD) - Francis also contributed to the project.

Urban experts say that metro-which is expected to ferry 5 lakh people per day with Phase I-consumes most of the funds, leaving little else for other mass mobility solutions.

An amount of Rs 300 Crore was raised by floating bonds, a first in the metro history of the country. "Now we are ready to ensure that we complete the 72-km network planned in the second phase within the 2020 deadline".

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