Bengaluru, April 26 (IANS) The much awaited East-West corridor of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) will be inaugurated on April 29, with commercial operations set to begin from April 30, an official said on Tuesday.
“Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would flag off the train on April 29 at 6 pm from the grand stairs of Vidhana Soudha,” said BMRCL managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola.
Bengaluru Development and Town Planning Minister K.J. George said the first phase of Namma Metro encompassing East-West and North-South corridors stretching up to 42.3 km will be operational by Karnataka Rajyotsava (Karnataka Formation Day) on November 1.
“The tunnel boring of underground stretch on North-South corridor is in the final stages. It is expected to be completed within a few months. I want BMRCL to complete the tunnel work within two months and complete all pending works before November 1,” he said.
Kharola said the 5.12 km underground stretch on the East-West corridor of the first underground metro in south India – took four long years to complete as builders encountered very hard rock requiring nearly 10,000 controlled explosions to remove.
The fare to commute from Baiyappanahalli to Nayandahalli has been fixed at Rs.40. “It is cheaper than ordinary bus fare. We offer 15 per cent discount for smart card users,” he said.
On being asked about the fares being pricier than Delhi Metro, Kharola said: “Delhi Metro was established 10 years back, we started 10 years afterwards. The prices have gone up, the rupee- dollar value is different. We have to repay the loans. There are so many issues.”
“We should compare Metro with other modes of travel. We are not comparing Namma Metro with Volvo buses, we are saying we are as cheap as an ordinary bus,” he added.
Devising different methods to attract more people to use Metro, which will run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Varshik is another smartcard scheme which enables travel only between two stations but comes with 17 to 24 percent discount.
And buying a group ticket will offer 10 percent discount for the Metro service with a frequency of 10 minutes, said Kharola.
Every Metro station has toilets and drinking water facility.