With government agencies rushing to launch as many programmes as possible before the election code of conduct comes into play, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) too is going ahead with the opening of the Peenya Industry–Sampige Road Namma Metro line on Friday.
While Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge will flag off the service from the Rajajinagar metro station on Friday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will lay the foundation stone for Namma Metro Phase 2 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
The service is being launched despite the fact that of the 10 stations in the 10-km stretch of reaches 3 and 3a, only four are fully ready to handle operations. BMRCL is busy giving finishing touches to the other six.
BMRCL managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola told The Hindu that the corporation was opening the line only after ensuring that adequate facilities were made available to passengers. The infrastructure, including stations, have been designed for passenger flow estimated for the next 30 years, so the facilities would be more than sufficient for expected passenger flow at present, he said.
Even though the corporation has indicated the maximum and minimum fare on the stretch — Rs. 23 and Rs. 10 respectively — it is yet to announce the complete fare chart. Mr. Kharola said this was in the process of being approved by the board.
Besides, he added, a 60-ft-wide approach road to Sampige Road metro station, which is off the main road, was opened on Thursday.
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will operate shuttle services between Sampige Road and Kempe Gowda bus station (Majestic) from Saturday, according to Transport Minister and BMTC chairman Ramalinga Reddy.
Three buses with flat fare of Rs. 5 would be put into service, said BMTC general manager (operations) G.N. Veere Gowda.
The corporation is also planning to operate feeder services between Sampige Road and M.G. Road metro stations, said BMTC managing director Anjum Parvez.
Besides, Mr. Gowda said, most metro stations on the Peenya–Sampige Road metro line are serviced by existing BMTC services. BMTC buses make at least 6,000 trips off Sampige Road metro station (Central theatre bus stop) to Majestic and people could make use of these.
If BMRCL provided a foot over-bridge with escalators, it would help people cross between Seshadripuram and the Sampige Road metro station, he said.