Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched Namma Metro’s Peenya-Sampige Road services at least three hours behind schedule, as he was busy attending various foundation stone laying functions in other parts of the State ahead of the announcement of the election code of conduct, which is expected on Saturday.

He flagged off the services at Rajajinagar Metro Station at 9 pm, along with Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily and other dignitaries. They took a ride till Yeshwantpur and back to Sampige Road Metro Station. The inaugural service was piloted by Kavyashree, a loco pilot with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL).

Services between Peenya Industry and Sampige Road would be open for the general public from 6 am on Saturday. Trains will run at an interval of 10 minutes. Initially, seven rakes will be used.

Similar was the case with the foundation stone laying ceremony for Namma Metro Phase 2 at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, which took place after the Peenya-Sampige Road services were flagged off. Speaking after laying the foundation stone, Mr. Siddaramaiah blamed himself for the delay and apologised to the gathering whose numbers had considerably dwindled by 10 pm when the function started.

The Chief Minister said the Rs. 26,405 crore Phase 2 project will be completed within five years. He said Namma Metro is the answer for the congested State capital’s transport woes. He thanked the Central government for sanctioning the project.

His cabinet colleagues, Mayor B.S. Satyanarayana, Union Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna, Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee, city legislators, councillors and others were present at the events.