Bangalore’s Namma Metro chugs out to ease city’s traffic, pollution

Bangalore’s Namma Metro transit rail network took off on Thursday after a 10-year wait, with cheering Bangaloreans welcoming the new addition to their fast-driven lives.

Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath inaugurated flagged off the service on Thursday morning while it will be thrown open to public from 4 pm.

Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley, and some state Congress leaders were present at the inauguration at the M.G. Road station, where it was inaugurated.

The first phase of 7-km stretch between MG Road and suburb Baiyappanahalli is likely to cater more than 20,000 passengers a day. The service will be available from 6 am in the morning to 10 am in the night and fare is Rs 10-15 depending upon the distance.

The current plan for Namma Metro (Our Metro in local Kannada language) covers 42.3 km, when it is finally completed in 2014. The traffic authorities hope that it will bring down traffic by 30 percent but the rapidly expanding tech hub of India is already at 8.5 million officially while it will be anywhere in the range of about 10 million unofficially.

The plan, expected to cost more than 7,000 by 2014, will be major relief to the pollution on roads which alarmingly at its peak.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), which has built the transit railway is roping in the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) with common day-pass that can be used in both.

The Metro Bus Transit Day Pass for commuting in metro and BMTC non-air-conditioned buses is priced at Rs. 70 while Pass for commuting in metro and all BMTC services except Vayu Vajra costs Rs. 110, said a statement.

Unless the Namma Metro peaks at 200 km and 2 million traffic per day, the congested roads of the city are unlikely to ease the traffic jams.

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