After missing several deadlines in the past, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) is gearing up to start commercial operations of the extended metro line on Mysuru Road to Kengeri.
Residents in the area, who have been waiting for years for metro services on the 7.53-km stretch to commence, however, have raised concern over poor accessibility to some of the stations. The absence of footpaths near entry/exit points, uncleared debris on pedestrian pathways, and garbage dumped on pavements are some of the concerns.
BMRCL has estimated that around 75,000 passengers will benefit every day once the line is operational. The extended metro line has six stations: Nayanadahalli, R.R. Nagar, Jnanabharathi, Pattangere, Kengeri Bus Terminal, and Kengeri. But, before it is thrown open to the public, residents have demanded that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and BMRCL fix the problems.
Debris on road
Near Jnanabharathi station for instance, debris can be seen dumped on the footpath blocking access to the station. On the other side, in the absence of pavements, people have no option but to walk on the busy road. This will add to congestion once commuters start using the extended line. “Civic agencies must make sure that we have easy access to the stations. Though there are footpaths along either side of Mysuru Road, the big question is whether we can walk on them. There is garbage on some stretches, and at others shopkeepers have encroached on pavements,” said Raghavendra M., who resides at BDA Residential Apartments. He also suggested that the authorities install streetlights for pedestrian safety. Rail enthusiast Abhishek R. also recommended that agencies concentrate on providing easy access and connectivity to other modes of transport. “The Jnanabharathi railway halt station is a few metres away from the metro station. If BMRCL takes measures to provide good access, the general public will benefit.”
Need for an FoB
The newly built Kengeri Bus Terminal metro station is located close to the TTMC of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). However, people coming from the Kengeri side after getting down at the bus stop have to cross the busy road risking their lives. BMRCL had in the past maintained that a Foot-over-Bridge (FoB) will be built for commuters, but work on this is yet to begin.
BMRCL Managing Director Anjum Parwez said: “During my inspection, instructions were given to fix issues related to access to the metro stations. Prior to opening the line, measures will be taken on clearing debris and repairing the footpath near the stations.”
To build the metro line, the BMRCL spent ₹1,560 crore on the infrastructure and ₹360 crore on land acquisition.