The Union Cabinet led by PM Narendra Modi, on April 20, finally approved Namma Metro Phase 2A (ORR Line) and Phase 2B (Airport Line) totaling a length of 58.19 km at an estimated cost of ₹14,788.1 crores. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL), a joint venture of the Central and state government, operates the first phase of the project, spanning 48 km from east to west and north to south, ferrying over 2 lakh commuters.
The Metro Project is itself an innovation over the conventional system of urban transport. The project involves integration with other urban transport systems efficiently and effectively, which is possible only by adopting innovative methods of designing, technology, and institutional management. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech had announced the extension of funds worth Rs 14,788 crore for this project.
Railways minister Piyush Goyal, who briefed the media after the Cabinet meeting, and Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, hailed the project for its “transformative impact on the city’s commute”. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa took to Twitter and thanked PM Modi.
New Metro Line Route
While Namma Metro Phase 2A will connect Central Silk Board Junction to K. R. Puram via Outer Ring Road (19.75 km and 13 stations), Phase 2B will connect K.R. Puram to Kempegowda International Airport via Hebbal Junction (38.44 km and 17 stations). The two phases put together will connect key hubs such as Electronics City, Bellandur, Marathahalli, K.R. Puram, Nagavara, Yelahanka, and KIA. It will come as a boon to office goers as it will connect the IT corridor of the city to the airport.
Implementation of the project in the estimated 54 months, will provide a much-needed additional public transport infrastructure to Bangalore, with most commuters having to rely on an over-stretched BMTC bus service, expensive cabs, or private vehicles for their day-to-day needs.
Meanwhile, Bangalore Central Lok Sabha MP, P C Mohan tweeted, “This line will help the #ITBT sector providing a sustainable and efficient mode of transport. In particular, it will improve multimodal mobility integration & act as a catalyst for mobility-oriented development to realize our true economic potential and ease traffic congestion.”
Updates On Land Acquisition
Sources in BMRCL said land acquisition for Phase 2A is complete, and tenders for civil works finalized but were kept in abeyance for the Union Cabinet approval. “Now that the Union Cabinet has approved the project, the work orders can be issued soon,” a senior BMRCL official said.
Meanwhile, land acquisition for Phase 2B is 90% complete and the financial bids for the tenders yet to be opened. While there has been no clarity on the Centre’s share, sources said it will be around ₹2,000 crores. The State government is expected to invest 35% of the project cost, sources said.