At a time when Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) is working on expanding its network by building more stations across the city, the unopened entry/exit gates at the existing stations continue to be a problem for commuters. While BMRCL officials say that the gates have been closed after analysing minimal movement there, commuters often face inconvenience because of the decision. There are a few stations on both the Green and Purple lines where some of the gates have remained shut down for many months now.
At the Cubbon Park on Purple Line, three gates have been closed — one towards M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, one towards the Income Tax Office and the other near Minsk Square. Commuters are forced to cross busy roads during peak hours to enter the metro station.
“This station is sort of in the middle point of the central business district. There are offices on all the roads surrounding the station. Would it not be helpful if they opened all the gates instead of keeping them locked? Crossing the busy Raj Bhavan Road (near the metro station) after 5 p.m. is a big task as there are no pedestrian signals and vehicles keep coming from one or the other direction,” said Priyanka S., who regularly commute between Vijayanagar and Cubbon Park stations.
Some other stations where the gates are closed include K.R Market, Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna, and Baiyyappanahalli. Up until a few months ago, gates were also closed at National College station on the Green Line and Sir M. Vishweshwaraiah and Vidhana Soudha stations on the Purple Line.
“I have sometimes run in a hurry to one of the metro gates only to discover that it is closed. Then I had to cross roads or run in the opposite direction to catch the train. I have even tried asking security guards why the gates are closed and they do not have an answer. They say that they have just been asked to keep the gates closed,” said Sathya Kumar, a sales agent who depends on the metro for his daily commute.
“Depending on the data available with us about how many people use the gates, we have closed them. In addition, with respect to infrastructure and security, we have taken some measures. During COVID-19 there were fewer people commuting too. Now, we will review the situation again and see how to follow up,” said Yashwanth Chawan, BMRCL spokesperson.