Chaos on Day 1 as metro shuts a part of Purple Line

The special buses between Cubbon Park and Baiyappanahalli stations for Namma Metro commuters were packed.

The special buses between Cubbon Park and Baiyappanahalli stations for Namma Metro commuters were packed.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain / The Hindu


Some commuters were caught unawares while buses were packed

It was chaos at many Namma Metro stations on Friday night after the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) shut services at 8 p.m. from M.G. Road station to Indiranagar to carry out repair work at Trinity station. The corporation had detected a ‘honeycomb’ formation (concrete distress) on a beam near Trinity station. The work is expected to end on Sunday (December 30).

At M.G. Road, Cubbon Park and Indiranagar stations, a large number of people had to wait for close to half-an-hour to get a train.

“There was a delay of a few minutes as we had to shut down the line between M.G. Road and Indiranagar. Once that was done, services were resumed from M.G. Road to Mysuru Road and Indiranagar to Baiyapanahalli,” said a BMRCL official.

Some commuters were caught unawares. Deepak Sood, a 26-year-old private sector employee, said, “I have been working in the city for the past four months. My office is at K.R. Market and I stay in Ulsoor. I always take the metro to my office and back. But today, I was asked to get down at M.G. Road. The staff at the station said that a free bus service was available, but I couldn't locate any bus. I have to work on Saturday. I don’t know how I will travel.”

Free buses

Trains were operated on the two sections at a frequency ranging from six to 15 minutes. The BMRCL, along with Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), ran free bus services between Cubbon Park and Baiyappanahalli. The buses had a sticker stating ‘Metro pryanikarige matra’ (metro commuters only).

The BMTC ran 80 buses on Friday. According to a release, 110 buses will be run on Saturday and 70 on Sunday. “Based on the demand, more buses will be deployed,” a BMRCL official said.

Another commuter, Shankar Patil, an IT professional, said he rushed to Indiranagar station at 7.30 p.m. to catch the last train towards Mysuru Road, but was sent back by the staff saying that the service was shut. “I have to travel to Kengeri and metro is my only option. They could have started work post 10 p.m. It would have avoided a lot of problems for commuters who are dependent on the metro.”

Not enough announcements

While BMRCL had put up notices about the partial shutdown at all stations, no announcements were made on the public address system.

“Not everyone reads notices. The BMRCL could have made announcements in trains or stations. I work in Malleswaran and travel up to Indiranagar. Thankfully, I managed to get on one of the buses,” said Divya Saxena.

Revathy Sreedhar, a bank manager, took the bus from M.G. Road to Indiranagar. “I work in Basaveshwar Nagar. As there is insufficient bus service to my workplace, I take the metro. Though I knew about the metro work, I did not expect it be so bad. I had to wait for some time before getting this free bus back home,” she said.

Overcrowded buses

Many of the free buses were overcrowded. The conductor of one of the buses, which had made three trips between Cubbon Park and Baiyappanahalli till 10 p.m., said: “We did not expect so many people to take the service. People rushed inside even before the bus stopped. This is our third trip and we are packed,” he said, adding that there was no way conductors could ensure that only metro travellers took the bus.

High demand for autos, cabs

Autorickshaw and cab drivers, especially at M.G. Road and Indiranagar stations, were in demand. Amanullah Khan, an autorickshaw driver who waits outside Indiranagar station, said, “Normally people choose metro over auto, but on Friday, we got more customers. I think the next two days will be good for us.”

In another part of the city, work on Sirsi Circle flyover to affect traffic flow

Maintenance work and re-asphalting Sirsi Circle flyover are expected to be taken up from Saturday morning, and are likely to disrupt traffic flow.

Work was scheduled to start from Friday evening. However, BBMP had to remove the median, rework the road and barricade the lane before work could be taken up. Officials said that the median could be removed only if traffic was stopped. This was done late on Friday night.

According to the traffic police, in the morning, the lane carrying traffic from Town Hall towards Mysuru Road will be blocked. Vehicles will be allowed in the other lane, which will be blocked in the evening.

(Inputs from Ajay Biradar and Rahna V.N.)

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 4:48:49 PM |

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