Bengaluru

Finally, ‘airport-like’ Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal opens to public

Passengers taking the maiden train leaving for Ernakulam, from Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal, at Baiyappanahalli, in Bengaluru on Monday.

Passengers taking the maiden train leaving for Ernakulam, from Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal, at Baiyappanahalli, in Bengaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Commuters who boarded the first train from the Sir. M. Visvesvaraya Terminal, Baiyappanahalli (SMVB Terminal), on Monday evening were pleasantly surprised to finally use the swanky airport-like air-conditioned railway station. 

“It looks like an airport and it was hard to believe. I reached here using Google Maps, but was taken aback after I reached here. I asked the auto driver twice whether this was indeed the railway station I was supposed to be dropped at,” said Amal, a commuter who travelled to Ernakulam on the first train from the terminal. 

Most commuters were appreciative of the facilities and the state-of-the-art interiors of the railway station, one of its kind in the country. “The facilities at the station are very good — escalators, air-conditioning, food court, the lounges — definitely much better than any station. The terminal is definitely a great addition to a global city like Bengaluru,” said Sri Priya, another commuter. 

Passengers taking the maiden train leaving for Ernakulam, from Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal, at Baiyappanahalli, in Bengaluru on Monday.

Passengers taking the maiden train leaving for Ernakulam, from Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal, at Baiyappanahalli, in Bengaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

While many said the swanky railway station exceeded their expectations, they hoped it will be well maintained and continues to be clean and swanky. “The station looks very nice as of now, but only time will tell if it’s going to stay like this. First day everyone takes care of it, I hope they maintain it like this continuously,” said Jaffrey, a commuter.  

However, many commuters also pointed out some gaps that needed to be fixed, mainly access to the railway terminal. Some cab services showed the area as out of service on Monday and people need to take a longer detour to access the station for the want of a U-turn, many argued.

A view of the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal.

A view of the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has already launched buses on 10 routes, which will totally make 144 trips everyday. The terminal is also in the vicinity of the Baiyappanahalli Metro station on the Purple Line.

The SMVB Terminal was packed on Monday and looked festive. The SMVB-Ernakulam tri-weekly Express that was supposed to leave the terminal at 7 p.m., left the station at 7.50 p.m. on Monday.

Passengers at the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal.

Passengers at the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

“Since the train earlier originated from Banaswadi and shifted to SVMB from Monday, many commuters went to Banaswadi. We had deployed buses and a MEMU train at Banaswadi and fetched the commuters who went there to SVMB, causing the delay. Once commuters get used to trains originating at SVMB there won’t be any delay,” said Shyam Singh, Divisional Railway Manager, Bengaluru, South Western Railway (SWR).

Watch | This railway terminal in Bengaluru will provide airport-like facilities

He said the launch of the terminal went off smoothly without any hiccups. “We have most of the trains from SVMB booked to their full capacity,” he added. 

A view of the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal.

A view of the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

The ₹314-crore station was completed over six years and was ready in March 2022, but there was a 14-month delay in throwing it open to the public, reportedly because of the wait for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the terminal.

A view of the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal.

A view of the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

However, following public outcry over the delay, the terminal was inaugurated without any event on Monday. Initially three pairs of trains that earlier originated from Banasawadi have been shifted to SVMB and in phases 30 pairs of trains will be shifted to SVMB, sources said. 

(With inputs from Thrisha Sajeev and Ann Maria James)

A view of the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal.

A view of the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR


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Printable version | Jun 7, 2022 11:52:31 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/airport-like-sir-m-visvesvaraya-terminal-finally-takes-off/article65501500.ece