Namma Metro

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Namma Metro
Namma metro.png
Bangalore Metro Station, India.jpg
Overview
OwnerBengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL)
LocaleBengaluru, Karnataka, India
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines2 (being extended) 2 (under construction)
Number of stations46[1]
Daily ridership518,000 (March 2020)[2]
Annual ridership133.7 million (2019)[2]
Chief executiveAjay Seth (MD)
HeadquartersBMTC Complex, K.H. Road, Shanthinagar, Bengaluru
Websitebmrc.co.in
Operation
Began operationOctober 20, 2011 (2011-10-20)
Train length6 coaches[3]
Headway4–15 minutes[4]
Technical
System length
  • 48.92 km Operational
  • 124.57 km Under Construction
No. of tracks2
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification750 V DC third rail
Average speed40 km/h (25 mph)
Top speed80 km/h (50 mph)
Namma Metro Rail Network (2020)

Map of Operational Network of Namma Metro.

Namma Metro ("Our Metro" in Kannada), also known as Bangalore Metro or Bengaluru Metro, is a rapid transit system serving the city of Bangalore, India. Upon its inauguration, it became the first metro system in South India.[5] The metro has a mix of underground, at grade, and elevated stations. The system runs on standard-gauge tracks.

Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), a joint venture of Government of India and the State Government of Karnataka, is the agency for building, operating and expanding the Namma Metro network.[6] Services operate daily between 05:00 and 23:00 running with a headway varying between 4–20 minutes.[7] The trains initially began with three coaches but were later converted to six coaches as ridership grew.[8] Power is supplied by 750 volt direct current through third rail. As of September 2019, the metro system had an average daily ridership of about 450,000 passengers.[9]

A map of Namma metro post phase 1 and 2 expansions overlaid with the alignment of the proposed Bengaluru Commuter Rail

History[edit]

The State Town Planning Department had recommended looking into a mass rapid transit project, i.e. a metro for Bangalore city way back in 1977. A high-level Committee had also agreed that a metro study was warranted and a team from Southern Railway (SR) was commissioned to do this in 1981. The Southern Railway team recommended a 2-corridor metro, 24 km in length in addition to commuter rail lines and a ring railway.[10]

In 1993, the State of Karnataka established another committee to look into mass rapid transit. This committee had again recommended the same metro project put forward by SR in 1983 and the same circular railway.

The state created Bangalore Mass Rapid Transit Ltd (BMRTL) in 1994, with terms of reference to seek a public/private partnership for a mass rapid transit project. The government immediately introduced a special city cess dedicated to the anticipated mass rapid transit project. BMRTL commissioned a feasibility study which came up with an elevated, LRT-based, 96-km long network on 6 routes. A private consortium led by United Breweries Group undertook further development of the project on BOT basis. However, the project hadn't taken off.

In 2003, the Government of Karnataka commissioned the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which had successfully developed the Delhi Metro, to carry out a detailed preparation study for a metro in Bangalore, to be done emulating the technical and financial aspects of the approach used in Delhi. The study recommended a 2-line metro, 18 km and 15 km in length, cross shaped. The middle of the cross was to be at the Central Railway Station in Bangalore, completely underground. The economic rate-of-return was forecast at 22.3%. The financial forecast assumes a government subsidy for interest payments and some depreciation, i.e. fare revenue will cover somewhat more than direct operating costs. The Government accepted this option. BMRTL ceased to exist and was replaced by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL).

Current network[edit]

Namma Metro lines[edit]

Purple Line[edit]

Purple Line is aligned east to west and connects Baiyyapanahalli in the east with Mysore road terminal station in the southwest. The line is 18.1 km long and has 17 stations. It is elevated on both east and west sides and has a 4.8 km underground section in the middle. The Line passes through prime activity centers of the city (MG Road, Majestic, Railway Station, Vidhana Soudha etc.). It is currently being expanded at both ends.

The first 6.7-kilometre (4.2 mi), 6-station stretch (Reach 1) of the Purple Line between Baiyappanahalli in the east and Mahatma Gandhi Road opened on 20 October 2011.[11] This was the inaugural section of Namma Metro.[12] The second 6.4-kilometre (4.0 mi), 6-station stretch (Reach 2) between Mysore Road and Magadi Road opened on 16 November 2015.[13] The underground section, a 4.8 km (3.0 mi) stretch from Cubbon Park to Bengaluru City (KSR) Railway Station opened on 29 April 2016, thus linking east and west sections that were already opened. Opening the underground section completed the entire Purple Line in Phase-1.

Green Line[edit]

The Green Line is aligned north to south and connects Nagasandra in the north-west to Anjanapura in the south-west, covering a distance of 30.70 kilometres (19.08 mi)[14] and serving 30 stations.[15] It is elevated on both north and south sides and has a 4.0 km underground section in the middle. The Line passes through industrial areas (Peenya, Yeshwanthapur) in the north and also through commercial hubs (Majestic, Chikpete, City Market) and connects large residential catchments in the south (Basavanagudi, Jayanagar, Banashankari etc.). It is currently being expanded at both ends.

The first 9.9-kilometre (6.2 mi), 10-station stretch (Reach 3/3A) of the Green Line opened 1 March 2014.[16][17] The stretch connected Sampige Road to Peenya Industry.[18] The second 2.5-kilometre (1.6 mi), 3-station stretch (Reach 3B) of the Green Line from Peenya Industry to Nagasandra, opened on 1 May 2015.[19][20] The third stretch connecting Sampige Road to Yelachenahalli was inaugurated on 17 June 2017 and opened the next day, thereby completing the entire Phase 1.[21][22] These stretches (including the underground section) were inaugurated by then President late Shri Pranab Mukherjee on 17 March 2017.[23][24] The 6.29-kilometre (3.91 mi) stretch from Yelachenahalli to Silk Institute was inaugurated on 14 January 2021, making it the first section of the Phase-2 project to be opened for service.[25]

Namma Metro
Line Opening date Last extension Stations[15] Length[26](km) Terminals Rolling stock Track gauge (mm) Power Minimum headway
Purple Line 20 October 2011 30 April 2016 17 18.22 Baiyyappanahalli Mysore Road BEML 1435mm 750 V DC third rail 6
Green Line 1 March 2014 15 January 2021 29 30.70 Nagasandra Silk Institute BEML 1435mm 750 V DC third rail 6
Total 45 [b] 48.92

[b] Discrepancies in total number of stations is due to an interchange station that is counted once for each line.

Section Phase Length (km)[26] Terminal stations Opening date
Reach 1 (east) 1 6.7 Baiyyappanahalli Mahatma Gandhi Road 20 October 2011
Reach 2 (west) 1 6.4 Mysuru Road Magadi Road 16 November 2015[13][27]
Underground UG1 (east-west) 1 4.8 Mahatma Gandhi Road Magadi Road 30 April 2016
Reach 3 (north) 1 5.1 Sampige Road Yeshwanthpura 1 March 2014[17]
Reach 3A (north) 1 4.8 Yeshwanthpura Peenya Industry 1 March 2014[17]
Reach 3B (north) 1 2.5 Peenya Industry Nagasandra 1 May 2015[19][20]
Underground UG2 (north-south) 1 4.0 Sampige Road National College 18 June 2017[28]
Reach 4 (south) 1 4.1 National College Rashtreeya Vidyalaya 18 June 2017[28]
Reach 4A (south) 1 3.9 Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Yelachenahalli 18 June 2017[28]
Reach 4B (South) 2 6.5 Yelachenahalli Silk Institute 15 January 2021[29]

More lines and extensions are under construction. When completed, the 2nd phase (currently underway) will provide connectivity to the city's tech hubs of Electronic City and Whitefield, besides covering the eastern half of Outer Ring Road (ORR) and providing service to the Kempegowda International Airport in the north of the city.

Construction[edit]

Phase 1[edit]

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) prepared and submitted the detailed project for the first phase of Namma Metro in May 2003. The DPR was for a 33 km (21 mi) network with 32 stations for Phase 1 of the project, using standard gauge. The project was approved by the Union Cabinet on 25 April 2006. The foundation stone for construction of Phase 1 was laid by then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on 24 June 2006.[30] Navayuga Engineering Company Limited was awarded the first contract to construct Reach 1 of the East-West corridor in 2006. Civil construction on the first section (Reach-1) of the Purple Line between Baiyyappanahalli and Mahatma Gandhi Road, commenced on 15 April 2007.[31]

DPRs for a northern extension (from Yeshwanthapura to Nagasandra) and a southern extension (from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Road to Yelachenahalli) was submitted in October 2007 and June 2008 respectively. With these extensions, the total route length for phase-1 became 42.3 km. The objective was to connect the metro to the Outer Ring Road at northern and southern ends, and also cover the industrial areas of Peenya in the north-west, thereby providing better connectivity and increasing ridership. In October 2008, the Government of Karnataka approved this extension, which would cost an additional ₹1,763 crore (US$250 million).[32]

Underground section[edit]

Both lines in Phase-1 have tunnel sections in the city center which were the first metro tunnels built in South India.[5] Construction of underground sections in Phase 1 commenced during late 2012. The delay was due to cancellation of the initial tenders called during early 2008 as the entire DPR had to be revised and bids received were too high.[33] A second round of tendering was done in late 2009 with the gigantic Majestic inter-change station as a separate package.[34] Bids were awarded for the tunnel sections during 2011 and construction began in 2012.

The tunnels bored with tunnel boring machines (TBMs), located approximately 60 feet below ground level, have a diameter of 5.5 metres and are 5 metres apart. The TBMs were nicknamed Helen, Margarita,[35] Kaveri, Krishna and Godavari.[36]

Tunnel boring of underground section UG1 (on east-west corridor) was completed on 17 March 2014.[37] Track works and 3rd rail electrification works were completed on the 4.8 km east-west tunnel of the Purple line between Cubbon Park and Magadi Road and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) began trials on 23 November 2015. The entire stretch of the Purple Line was opened on 29 April 2016.[38]

Tunnel boring of underground section UG2 (on north-south corridor) was completed on 23 September 2016. The tunnelling faced a major delay when the cutter head of TBM Godavari was broken and spares had to be awaited.[39] Trial runs on the 4.0 km east-west tunnel of the Green line between Sampige Road and National College were commenced on 31 March 2017. The entire stretch of Green Line was opened on 19 June 2017, thus completing phase-1 of the project.[40]

Opening[edit]

After missing deadlines, Namma Metro's first section (Reach-1) had finally opened to the public on 20 October 2011.[41][42][43] There was an overwhelming response by the public at commencement of operations. As per BMRCL sources, within the first 3 days of operations 169,019 people rode the metro.[44] At the end of the 4th day, about 200,000 passengers had already commuted on Namma Metro. Namma Metro's first 12-day cumulative revenue was ₹1 crore (US$140,000).[45]

The northern section of Green Line (Reach 3,3A,3B) was initially scheduled to be opened by the end of 2012. However, it was delayed and finally opened on 1 March 2014.[46] BMRCL MD Pradeep Singh Kharola stated that about 25,000 passengers travelled on the line on the opening day.[17] In the first month of operations, 7.62 lakh people used the line, at an average of 24,605 daily, generating revenues of ₹1.5 crore (US$210,000).

The first underground section (on the Purple line) commenced operations on 30 April 2016, thus providing through connectivity between east and west of the city.

The second underground section, along with southern reaches (viz. Reach 4,4A) was opened on 18 June 2017.[47]

Once the east and west reaches were inter-connected with opening of the underground section of the purple line, ridership surged hugely. After the north-south underground section was opened (simultaneously with the elevated reach 4,4A in the south), the network provided connectivity in all four directions with interchange between the lines and this further increased ridership. Ridership kept increasing and was around 4,50,000 daily (September 2019).[9]

Phase 1 lines and sections[edit]

Phase 1 comprises two lines spanning a length of 42.30 kilometres (26.28 mi), of which about 8.82 kilometres (5.48 mi) is underground and about 33.48 kilometres (20.80 mi) is elevated.[14] There are 40 stations in Phase 1, of which 7 stations are underground, 1 at grade and 32 are elevated.[48]

The first phase of the project was initially budgeted at ₹6,395 crore (US$875 million).[49] With route extensions and cost escalation, this was later revised to ₹11,609 crores (US$1.6 billion). There were many delays during construction and as a result, there were several postponements. The difficult geological conditions below ground with a mix of soft soil, high groundwater levels, hard granite and large boulders was a major impediment for tunnel boring. A major delay was due to a broken cutter head of TBM Godavari for which spares had to be ordered from Italy.[50][51] Phase 1, containing 2 lines aggregating 42.3 km was completed and services opened to public on 19-June-2017. The final costs for phase-1 were ₹14,405 crores.[52]

Phase 2[edit]

The State Government accorded approval for preparation of the detailed project report (DPR) for Phase 2 by DMRC on 4 January 2011.[53] The high power committee (HPC) gave in-principle clearance to proceed with Phase 2 in July 2011. Karnataka government gave in-principle approval to Phase 2 of the Namma Metro project on 3 January 2012.[54][55]  However, there were delays in DPR preparation and hence approval from Central government.[33] Phase 2 was cleared by the expenditure finance committee (EFC) in August 2013. The Union Cabinet finally announced that it had approved plans for phase-2 on 30 January 2014.[56]

The estimated total cost for Phase 2 was around ₹26,405 crore (US$3.7 billion) at 2011-12 price levels.[57] The State Government would contribute ₹9,000 crore (US$1.3 billion).[58] The project cost of ₹26,405 at 2011–12 price levels is set to escalate about 5 per cent every year with increasing cost of inputs. The Union government will share that part of cost escalation due to increase in central levies, while the State and BMRCL will have to bear any other escalation. The total project cost for Phase 2 is estimated to reach at least ₹30,000 crore (US$4.2 billion) at start of construction itself. In October 2018, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara stated that the cost of Phase 2 would be around ₹32,000 crore (US$4.5 billion).[59]

Phase 2 spans a length of 72.095 km (44.798 mi) – 13.79 km (8.57 mi) underground, 0.48 km (0.30 mi) at grade and 57.825 km (35.931 mi) elevated, and adds 62 stations to the network, of which 12 are underground.[60] Phase 2 includes extension of the two Phase 1 lines in both directions, as well as construction of two new lines.[61]

The south-end of the Green Line will be extended from Yelachenahalli to Anjanapura along Kanakapura Road, north-end from Nagasandra to Madavara (previously named BIEC) on Tumkur Road (NH-4). The east-end of the Purple Line will be extended from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield and the west-end from Mysore Road to Kengeri (later extended to Challaghatta). A new, 18.82 km (11.69 mi) long, fully elevated line from RV Road to Bommasandra will be constructed, passing through Electronic City. The second new line will be 21.25 km (13.20 mi) from Kalena Agrahara (previously Gottigere) to Nagawara. The line is mostly underground (13.79 km or 8.57 mi), but also has a 6.98 km (4.34 mi) elevated section and a 0.48 km (0.30 mi) at-grade section. There are 18 stations on the line, of which 12 are underground and 6 are elevated.[48] Unlike Phase 1, all stations being built in Phase 2 will have bus bays and/or parking facilities.[62]

Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) is responsible for acquiring land for Phase 2. It was estimated that 102.02 hectares (252 acres) of land would be required for Phase 2 (including Phase 2A). By April 2017, BMRCL had already spent ₹5000 crore on land acquisition.[63]

Construction work began on the south extension of the Green Line from Yelachenahalli to Anjanapura (6.29 km or 3.91 mi) and the west extension of the Purple Line from Mysore Road to Kengeri (8.81 km or 5.47 mi) by October 2016. Construction work on the west extension of Purple Line was awarded in two packages for ₹660 crore,[64] while the Green Line south extension was awarded in a single package for ₹508.86 crore.[65]

Construction work for the north extension of the Green Line (from Nagasandra to Madavara) and the east extension of the Purple Line (from Baiyyappanahalli to Whitefield) began in July 2017. The 3.031 km (1.883 mi) north extension is estimated to cost ₹247.41 crore[66] while the east extension (15.5 km) was awarded for ₹1,300 crore (US$180 million).[67]

Construction of the yellow line, a new line from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Road to Bommasandra in 3 packages began post awarding of tenders in November 2017. The first package (6.418 km / 3.988 mi) was a stretch from Bommasandra to Hosa Road station, including depot entry line to Hebbagodi depot and five Metro stations. The second package was for a 6.38 km (3.96 mi) stretch from Hosa Road to HSR Layout. Both packages were awarded for ₹1,750 crore (US$250 million) to Thailand-based ITD Cementation India.[67] The third package was for a stretch from RV Road to HSR Layout (6.34 km long elevated section and 5 stations) for ₹797.29 crores (US$110 million) and includes the construction of a road-cum-rail flyover, road widening and allied works.[68]

Construction of the 7.5 km elevated section of a new pink line between Kalena Agrahara and Tavarekere (previously Swagat Road Cross) stations, estimated to cost ₹575.52 crore (US$81 million) began post tendering in February 2018. The tender includes construction of the elevated viaduct, 5 stations and car depot line to Kothanur depot.[69]

Underground section[edit]

BMRC initially floated tenders for the construction of the 13.9Km underground section in four packages during June 2017. However, the tenders were cancelled as all the bids received were too high (65-75%).[70][71] The second round of tendering resulted in tenders being awarded to three firms during March–June period, 2019. One of the firms (L&T) won two bids.[72]

The total awarded tunnelling tenders for the underground sections was ₹5,925.95 crores (appx US$812 million).[73][74][75]

Pre-tunneling construction work and piling for stations began in May 2019 by L&T.[76] Tunnel boring using TBMs began in July 2020 by L&T.[77] Tunnel boring work by the other two contractors (viz. Afcons & ITD-Cem) is expected to commence during early-2021.

Phase 2A[edit]

In September 2016, then-Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah announced that a new 18 km (11 mi) line connecting Silk Board with K.R.Puram would be included in Phase 2 as Phase-2A of the project. The line would be along the Outer Ring Road and is proposed to have 13 stations – Silk Board, HSR Layout, Agara, Ibbalur, Bellandur, Kadubeesanahalli, Kodibisanahalli, Marathahalli, ISRO, Doddanekundi, DRDO Sports Complex, Sarasvathi Nagara (previously Mahadevapura) and K.R. Puram.[78] The cost was estimated to be ₹4202 crores. BMRCL prepared the detailed project report for the proposed line and submitted the DPR to the state government on 28 October 2016.[79] Phase 2A was approved by the State Cabinet on 1 March 2017.[80] The ORR Metro line (Blue line) will have interchange stations with the extended Purple Line at K.R.Puram and with the proposed R V Road – Bommasandra line (Yellow Line) at Silk Board.

Tenders for ORR Metro line (east) were called during February 2018 and IL&FS emerged the lowest bidder for all packages. However, the tenders were quashed due to cash flow problems and bankruptcy proceedings by the firm.[81] A second round of tendering was done during December 2019 and bids were received by multiple firms during March 2020.[82][83] There are two packages. The first package included 2.84Km of ramps for a flyover at Central Silk board junction in addition to 9.859Km of viaduct with six elevated stations. The second package was for 8.377Km viaduct with seven elevated stations, 1.097 Km depot line and a 0.30 Km pocket track.

As of June 2020, BMRCL was still awaiting central government's approval for Phase-2A.[84]

Phase 2B (Airport Line)[edit]

There had been a proposal to build a 33 km (21 mi) high speed rail line from MG Road to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), at a cost of ₹5,767 crore (US$810 million).[85] This was to be executed by an independent SPV, but later it was decided that BMRC would manage this project and a regular metro line with fewer halts would be built instead of a high speed rail, thus travel time between city to airport would be less. As early as in February 2012, the Central government had also requested BMRC to start work on the airport link during Phase 2 itself.[86][87]

Following this, during September 2016, suggestions were invited from public to choose any one of nine possible extension routes from existing and proposed metro lines to the airport.[88] The proposed extension routes had an average length of 30 km (19 mi), and cost estimates ranged between ₹4,500 crore and ₹7,000 crore. A 25.9 km (16.1 mi) extension from Nagawara via Kannur and Bagaluru was the shortest, while the 35.4 km (22.0 mi) extension from Yeshwanthpur via Yelahanka, Kannur and Bagaluru was the longest of the proposed routes. BMRC received 1,300 responses from the public.[89] A 25.9 km (16.1 mi) extension of the Kalena Agrahara (previously Gottigere) – Nagawara line via Kannur and Bagaluru to the airport emerged as the most popular choice.[90]

Since Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) forbade underground construction from the southern side of the airport (due to security as it would have to pass beneath the airport's second runway), the shortest route options (i.e. extending the Pink line from Nagawara directly north) were eliminated . An alternate route proceeding north till RK Hegde nagar and then turning west to Jakkur was then explored. However, even this had an obstacle as a high-pressure petroleum pipeline was passing through the originally proposed route.[91]

Bangalore Development Minister K. J. George announced on 12 May 2017 that the government had finalised the Nagawara-Ramakrishna Hegde Nagar-Jakkur-Yelahanka route to the airport.[92] On 10 January 2019, the State Cabinet approved a change in alignment for the proposed metro line to the airport. The new line would begin at Krishnarajapura (K.R. Puram) and be aligned along the northern part of ORR (Outer Ring road), passing Nagawara, Hebbal, and Jakkur before heading towards the airport.[93] The line would be 39.8 km long, about 8 km longer than the route previously proposed. It is estimated to cost ₹10,584 crore (US$1.5 billion) almost twice as much as the previous route's estimate of ₹5,950 crore (US$830 million).[94]

Tenders for the Airport line were called during July 2020.

Phase 2, 2A, and 2B lines and sections[edit]

Phase 2 originally involved extending four reaches of the two lines in all directions and two new lines (Yellow Line and Pink Line).

The ORR-East Line was later included as Phase 2A followed by the Airport Line (as a continuation of the ORR-East Line) as Phase-2B. The line was later named as Blue Line.

Line Terminals Length New stations [95] Expected Work Completion date
Purple Line Mysore Road – Kengeri 7.5 km 6 June 2021
Purple Line Baiyyappanahalli – Whitefield 15.50 km 13 June 2022
Green Line Nagasandra – Madavara (previously BIEC) 3.77 km 3 January 2022
Yellow Line Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Road – Bommasandra 18.82 km 16 March 2022
Pink Line Kalena Agrahara (previously Gottigere) – Nagawara 22.87 km 18 June 2024
Blue Line Central Silk Board - KR Puram 18.8 km 13 Work yet to begin
Blue Line KR Puram - Kempegowda International Airport 36 km 17* Work yet to begin
Total (Phase-2, 2A, 2B) : 124.57 km 86 *Includes two Airport Stations

Implementation of Phase 2 has been divided into six (elevated) reach extensions and four underground sections. Implementation of Phase 2A has been divided into two (elevated section) packages. Implementation of Phase 2B has been divided into three (elevated section) packages. Depot construction and airport stations have not been included with tenders.

A network map of Namma metro after the completion of Phases 2A and 2B

NammaMetro-Ph-2 Status.jpg

Finances[edit]

Funding[edit]

Phase 1[edit]

Phase 1 missed nine deadlines, and its cost was revised four times. The initial cost estimate for Phase 1 when it had been approved in 2006 was 6,395 crore (US$900 million). The increase in length from 33 to 42.3 km (20.5 to 26.3 mi) increased the total cost to 8,158 crore (US$1.1 billion). Delays caused further escalations. The cost escalated to 11,609 crore (US$1.6 billion) in 2011 and 13,845 crore (US$1.9 billion) in 2015. The final cost to build Phase 1 was estimated at 14,405.01 crore (US$2.0 billion).[96] Land acquisition for Phase 1 accounted for 2,500 crore (US$350 million).[97]

The Central and State Government funded 58.91% of the cost. The remaining 41.09% was secured through loans from domestic and foreign financial institutions.[96] BMRCL secured 6,500 crore (US$910 million) through long-term loans and 300 crore (US$42 million) by selling bonds, while the remaining cost was funded by Central Government and the State Government. BMRCL secured loans from several agencies – 3,000 crore (US$420 million) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), 600 crore (US$84 million) from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO), 25 crore (US$3.5 million) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the rest from the French Development Agency. Approximately 10% of the 6500 crore had to be paid as interest by the BMRCL each year. The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) estimated that this amounted to an interest payment of 2 crore (US$280,000) per day. BMRCL stated that interest component wasn't that high and that it was "definitely more than 1 crore (US$140,000) per day".[97]

BMRCL announced plans on 13 June 2013 to issue 10-year bonds.[98] The proposed bonds received a credit rating of "IND AA" from India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra).[99] Namma Metro MD N. Sivasailam announced on 3 August 2013 that the issue of bonds would be postponed as the market was volatile. He stated that the metro would "be in the market soon when it is stable".[100]

Phase 2[edit]

On 3 January 2012, the Karnataka government approved a budget of 27,000 crore (US$3.8 billion) for Phase 2 of Namma Metro project.[101] Phase 2 is estimated to cost 26,405 crore (US$3.7 billion). Land acquisition is expected to account for 5,000 crore (US$700 million).[97] The Central and State Governments will fund around 15,000 crore.[102] The State and Central Governments will bear 30% and 20% of the project cost respectively. The remaining will be obtained through senior term loans.[103] BMRCL is permitted to raise up to 9,000 crore through loans.[102]

On 27 March 2012, Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement to lend $250 million to BMRC to part-finance Phase 2. The loan marked the multilateral lending agency's foray into the urban transport sector in South Asia, the ADB said in a press release. The loan, approved by the ADB Board in March 2011, is the first ADB loan to the urban transport sector without recourse to sovereign guarantees.[104] In 2016, the Agence Francaise De Development (AFD) sanctioned a 1,600 crore loan for the project. The rate of interest on the loan is linked to Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor) + 130 basis points. In early 2017, the European Investment Bank agreed to loan 3,700 crore to BMRCL, with a repayment period of 20 years at a rate of interest lower than the one on the AFD loan.[102][105]

In May 2017, BMRC received in-principle approval from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to fund construction of the Gottigere-Nagawara line through a 3700 crore loan.[106] The line will also be funded by the AIIB and the Central and State Governments.[107]

Indian firms Biocon and Infosys announced that they would provide funding for the construction of the Hebbagodi and Electronics City metro stations respectively on the RV Road-Bommasandra Metro line. BMRC expects that each firm will contribute 100 crore (US$14 million) towards the project. Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw stated that the company wanted to fund the project because it would help decongest the city. Both Biocon and Infosys have offices located near the stations.[108]

Revenues[edit]

During the first month since the opening of Reach I, about 1,325,000 people travelled by metro.[109] On average, 41,390 people took the train every day, while the average daily revenue was 667,262. The BMRC earned a revenue of 2.1 crore (US$290,000) in its first month of operation.[110] However, during the first six months of operation, average ridership went down to 24,968. The BMRC earned a total of 6.6 crore (US$930,000) during the same period.[111] Namma Metro posted a profit of 41 lakh (equivalent to 62 lakh or US$87,000 in 2019) after about one year of operations of Reach I. BMRCL estimates that nearly 80 lakh passengers travelled on the system in its first year of operations.[112]

The following table shows annual ridership and revenue of Namma Metro since inception.[113][114]

Year Passengers Revenue ( crore)
2011–12 4,166,000 6.17 crore
2012–13 6,636,000 8.70 crore
2013–14 7,255,000 9.86 crore
2014–15 11,400,000 17.83 crore
2015–16 16,800,000 28.28 crore
2017–18 13,000,000 324.99 crore
2018–19 16,400,000 404.91 crore

Infrastructure[edit]

Interior of the Metro coach on inauguration day

Rolling stock[edit]

BMRC procured 150 metro coaches for fifty 3-car train sets in DMC-TC-DMC formation for Phase l of Namma Metro from BEML - Hyundai Rotem at a cost of Rs 1,672.50 crore (Rs 16.72 billion). Coach specifications were as follows. Dimensions: Length-20.8m, Width-2.88m, and Height-3.8m. Each coach had a seating capacity of about 50 and standing capacity of 306 (basis 8 per sqm). Thus, each train had a capacity of about 1000. Traction is through four 180Kw motors in each motor coach. The trains have a maximum speed of 80 kmph and axle load of 15 tonnes. The trains operate on 750V DC with third rail bottom power collector system. Features include stainless steel body fully air-conditioned coaches, longitudinal bank of wide seats, wide vestibules between coaches, non-skid and non-slip floor surfaces, wi-fi enabled, four wide passenger access doors on each side, wide windows, automatic voice announcement system and electronic information and destination display system.

Thus, initial operations began with 3-coach trains. Each train had a capacity of 1000 passengers. As loads increased with increasing ridership, all trains were converted to six coaches.

The first train set made a trial run in December 2010.[115] In early 2017, BMRC floated tenders for an additional 150 coaches to provide 6 coach trains on the entire Phase 1 route.[116] On 27 March 2017, BEML announced that it had won an 1,421 crore contract to supply the coaches.[117] The first six car train was introduced on the Purple Line on 23 June 2018.[118] By January 2020, all trains had been converted to six coaches.[119]

Free Wi-Fi service was made available to commuters on 31 July 2013.[120] Passengers also have emergency voice communication with train staff through a speaker system. Passengers are provided with a call button to communicate with the driver or control center during an emergency.[121]

Power supply[edit]

In December 2009, the ABB Group was awarded the contract to provide power solutions for the first phase of the planned metro network. ABB designed, supplied, installed and commissioned four substations that receive and distribute electricity, each rated at 66/33 kV, as well as the auxiliary and traction substations. ABB also provided an integrated network management system, or SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition), to monitor and control the installations.[122] BMRC currently pays BESCOM 5.7 per unit of electricity.[123]

In 2016, BMRCL signed an agreement with CleanMax Solar to set up solar installations at Baiyapanahalli and Peenya stations. After Phase 2 of the metro is complete, CleanMax Solar will set up similar installations at the metro depots in Challaghatta, Whitefield, Kothanur and Hebbagodi. Per the agreement, CleanMax Solar will bear the cost of installation and the BMRC will pay CleanMax a rate of 5.5 per unit of electricity for three years. Following the three-year period, all six installations will be transferred to the BMRC. According to the BMRC director of operations NM Dhoke, "The 1.4 MW installation can generate up to 10,000 units, which help power the depot facilities. However, it is not sufficient to power the trains, but it will help us save 51 crore over 25 years on energy".[123]

In February 2019, Alstom was awarded a GBP 62 million contract to provide electrification systems for Phase II of the Namma Metro. The company will construct 56 substations to supply power for Phase II of the system.[124]

Signaling[edit]

In September 2009, the consortium led by Alstom Project India Limited was awarded a contract worth 563.4 crore (US$79.0 million) to supply control and signalling system for the first phase of the project. The consortium is led by Alstom and composed of Alstom Transport SA, Thales Group Portugal S A, and Sumitomo Corporation. Alstom will provide the design, manufacture, supply, installing, testing, and commissioning of the train control and signalling system and Thales will provide the design, installing, testing, and commissioning of the telecommunication system for Phase 1 of the metro system. It includes the Urbalis 200 Automatic Train Control system which will ensure optimal safety, flexible operations and heightened passenger comfort.[125][126]

The integrated control center at Baiyyappanahalli has direct communication with trains and stations are CCTV fitted with visual and audio service information.[121] Passengers have emergency voice communication with train staff.

Stations[edit]

There are 40 stations on the Namma Metro network. Majestic station is the largest with a total floor area of 48,000 square metres (520,000 sq ft).[127]

Initially, there were no toilets at Namma Metro stations. BMRCL eventually heeded public demand, and the metro's first toilets were opened at Baiyappanahalli and Indiranagar stations on 21 June 2013.[128] As of February 2017, there were 33 ATMs at Namma Metro stations.[129]

The 12 underground stations built during Phase II will be smaller in size than the underground stations built in Phase I to minimise land acquisition costs.[130] All Phase I underground stations were 272 meters long and 24 meters wide, except for Chickpet and K.R. Market stations which had the same width but were 240 meters long. In contrast, Phase II's underground stations are shorter at 210 meters but retain the same width.[131]

On 17 February 2017, Uber announced that it would open booking counters at 12 metro stations by the end of March 2017. The counters enable commuters to book an Uber, and is aimed at commuters who do not have access to the internet or do not have the Uber mobile app installed on their phone. Ola Cabs announced a similar arrangement on 22 February 2017.[132][133]

Depots[edit]

Under phase-1, two depots were built at Baiyyappanahalli and Peenya. For the line extensions in phase-2, BMRC is building additional depots at Anjanapura on the Green Line and at Challaghatta and Kadugodi for the Purple Line. For the new lines in phase-2, depots are being built at Kothanur (Pink Line) and at Hebbagodi (Yellow Line).

For the Blue Line (airport line, phase-2A), the Baiyyappanahalli depot is planned to be used[134] as two depots are being built for Purple Line at its ends. In addition, a depot is planned at Doddajala, near the Trumpet inter-change. The depot at Baiyappanahalli has an operations control center for managing the metro network and also a training center.

Depot Line Built Area (Acres) Remarks
Baiyyappanahalli[135][136] Purple Phase-1 50 Depot-Cum-Workshop; Operation Control Center; Metro Training Center.

Transition planned from DTG to CBTC depot (for Blue line trains)[134]

Peenya[137][138] Green Phase-1 100 Depot-Cum-Workshop
Anjanapura[139] Green Phase-2 8.9 Depot, Stabling
Challaghatta[139] Purple Phase-2 38.9 Depot-Cum-Workshop
Hebbagodi[139] Yellow Phase-2 39.3 Depot-Cum-Workshop
Kothanur[140] Pink Phase-2 31.5 Depot-Cum-Workshop
Kadugodi[141] Purple Phase-2 44.75* Depot-Cum-Workshop

*Land includes three stations (Whitefield, Kadugodi & Sadarmangala)

Doddajala[142] Blue Phase-2B In planning stage

Vertical gardens[edit]

The BMRC granted permission to Hydrobloom, a start-up company, to grow hydroponic plants on the pillars of the Namma Metro. Pillars covered with plants are referred to as vertical gardens. Hydrobloom had previously developed a vertical garden on a metro pillar near Rangoli Art Centre next to the MG Road Metro station. The gardens are intended for beautification and to reduce air pollution.[143]

Safety[edit]

As of February 2014, BMRCL has two road-cum-rail rescue vehicles that can be used to perform evacuations or re-load derailed trains back onto the track.[144]

The trains are equipped with derailment prevention equipment, and the tracks are equipped with concrete barriers to prevent trains from leaving the viaduct. The support pillars are earthquake-proof and are designed to have a lifespan of at least 100 years. Trains are equipped with sensors to detect impending collisions, and have automatic braking systems to prevent speed limits from being exceeded.[145] In case of train stoppages midway between stations during emergencies, pavements beside tracks are provided on elevated viaducts as well as in underground sections.

Accessibility[edit]

Yellow tactile tiles are used at all stations to guide the visually impaired. The tiles start at the ramp and lead to the staircases and lifts.[146] Disabled and elderly passengers can avail a wheelchair at all metro stations. The wheelchair can be used by the passenger to board a train and then dropped off at the destination station.[123] In February 2017, BBMP and BMRC began a project to upgrade all footpaths along metro routes. The project is estimated to cost 40 crore and was scheduled to be completed in 18 months.[147][148]

Rainwater harvesting[edit]

BMRCL, in a public-private partnership, harvests rainwater from the viaducts on the rail system. The private partner, Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development (KRIDL), collects the water at multiple points, treats it, and sells it in bulk as potable water.[149] Pipes inside each metro viaduct pillar carry the rainwater from the viaduct down to underground tanks located beneath the median. When these tanks overflow, the water is diverted to 5 metres deep rainwater harvesting pits. Two rainwater harvesting pits are installed between each pillar. The average distance between the two pillars is 28 meters. As of March 2017, a 33.48 km (20.80 mi) of the elevated metro is covered by the rainwater harvesting system. With the completion of Phase 2 of the metro, the BMRCL will cover a total of 58 km (36 mi) with rainwater harvesting systems.[150] Around 8 crore litres of water are expected to be collected annually.[151]

BMRCL also harvests rainwater from the 140 acres depot facility at Peenya. Water will be collected from the 190,000 sq foot roof and stored in two tanks with a capacity of 50,000 litres each. Rainwater harvesting is also planned in existing and under-construction stations. The water harvested will be supplied to places where needed, and any excess will be used for groundwater recharge.[151]

BMRC has installed a water harvesting system along Reach 1 and will be doing the same for Reaches 3 & 4. Installation of flower beds was delayed due to garbage being dumped on the median by garbage collectors, BMRC will also set up flower beds on Reach 1 with assistance from the horticulture department. However, the work related to this has slowed down due to garbage contractors dumping garbage along the median, due to the lack of a waste management plan in the city.[152] BMRC also planned to rejuvenate Kengeri and Veerasandra lakes using water collected from a nearby corridor.[153][154]

Operations[edit]

Fare collection[edit]

The obverse of an entry token issued
Bangalore Metro Ticket (Token)-Kempegowda Tower Symbol view

MIFARE DESFire platform, developed by NXP Semiconductors, was selected to manage the Automated Fare Collection (AFC) for Namma Metro.[155] The system uses contactless smart tokens and contactless smart card.[156] Tokens are available only for a single journey.[48] Smart cards can be used for multiple journeys.[48] There is currently one type of smart card available on the metro – Varshik.[157]

  • Varshik is priced at 50, with ₹50 as a user deposit. It is valid for a year, and provides a 5% discount on fares.[158] The card can be recharged.
  • Saral was available for 70. It permitted one day's travel on BMTC non-air-conditioned buses and on the metro. Saral is no longer available.
  • Saraag was available for 110. It permitted one day's travel on BMTC air-conditioned buses and on the metro.[159] Saraag is no longer available.
  • Sanchar was available in denominations of 10, 40, 50 and 100. Sanchar was withdrawn from 1 March 2017.[160][161]

BMRCL began selling tokens through automatic ticket vending machines (ATVMs) on 4 December 2012 at MG Road, Indiranagar and Baiyyappanahalli stations. The service will eventually be expanded to all metro stations. The touchscreen-enabled ATVMs are available in 3 languages – English, Kannada, and Hindi. Commuters can purchase a single journey token by selecting the destination station or the amount in the ATVM. They can also add value or add trips to the contactless smart card. Commuters can purchase up to 8 tickets at a time and can get the receipt printer for card recharge. ATVMs accept coins of 5 and 10 denominations and 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 denominations of currency notes. However, the ATVM cannot differentiate between 1 and 2 coins.[162][163]

In November 2016, BMRC began accepting online payments to recharge smart cards. Tickets cannot be purchased online.[164]

Approximately 68% of passengers on the metro use smart tokens and 32% use smart cards.[112]

Frequency[edit]

The metro service runs between 05:00 and 23:00 hours. The service starts at 07:00 hours on Sundays. There are trains every 8 minutes between 08:00 and 20:00, and every 10 minutes at other times.[165] On weekdays, trains operate at 4-minute intervals between 09:00 and 10:00.[166] The headway is slated to decrease to once every three minutes after completion of Phase I.[123] The end-to-end travel time on the Purple Line is 35 minutes, and on the Green Line 45 minutes.[167]

Metro services have occasionally operated beyond 2300 hours. Services are usually extended on festival days or when an international cricket match is held in the city.[168][169]

Ridership[edit]

As of December 2017, daily ridership on Namma Metro averaged between 360,000 and 370,000 passengers.[170] The annual ridership in 2015–16 fiscal year was 16.8 million. The daily ridership increased to 4,10,050 commuters on 28 September 2017. The revenue through ticketing fare touched an all-time high of approximately Rs 9,576,000.[170] Currently (September 2019), the ridership is around 450,000 daily.

Speed[edit]

The system is designed for a maximum train speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). However, the Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) fixed the speed at which trains are allowed to operate commercially as 67.50 km/h (41.94 mph) on straight sections, 35 km/h (22 mph) on curves, and 45 km/h (28 mph) in stations.[171]

Security[edit]

The Karnataka State Industrial Security Force (KISF) is responsible for security on the Namma Metro.[172] Bangalore Police conducted detailed mock drills at metro stations for the first time on 25 March 2017. Police officials stated that the drill was to assess readiness to deal with situations such as hoax bomb calls, terrorist infiltration, or attacks. Sniffer dogs, bomb detection and disposal squad, anti-sabotage squad, and Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) were involved in the drill. Police had previously conducted basic mock drills, but this was the first one aimed toward dealing with specific threats. The chosen day was a Saturday, when crowds are usually larger, in order to make the drill more challenging for officers. The BMRCL has not informed of the drill in advance.[173]

Laws[edit]

The Bangalore Metro Rail (Carriage and Ticket) Rules 2011 limit the weight of personal baggage to 15 kg. Rule 3 says: "No person shall, while traveling in metro railway, carry with him any goods other than small baggage containing personal belongings not exceeding 60cm x 45cm x 25cm in size and 15kg in weight, except with the prior approval of the metro railway administration." The rules also prohibit carrying explosive, inflammable, and poisonous substances.[174]

The Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002, imposes fines and in some cases jail sentences for offences committed on the metro. Anyone indulging in sabotaging the train or maliciously hurting or attempting to hurt other passengers while travelling in the metro can face imprisonment for up to 10 years. Pasting posters or drawing graffiti on the walls of stations or trains is punishable by a fine of 1,000 or imprisonment for up to 6 months. Traveling in an inebriated state or creating nuisance in the train is punishable by a 500 fine.[175] Passengers are monitored at security checkpoints and those that are causing trouble, heavily drunk, or carrying forbidden items are not permitted to board.[176] Spitting on the metro premises is punishable by a fine of 100.[177]

Mobile app[edit]

The BMRCL launched a Namma Metro app for Android devices in 2013. However, it had limited features.[178] The app was officially re-launched on 4 November 2016 with additional features.[179] The app was developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC). The app allows users to purchase and recharge smart cards, locate nearby metro stations and also provides information related to parking, train frequency, route map, and fare details.[123][180]

Future plans[edit]

A 127 km (79 mi) Phase 3 was proposed in May 2016.[181] Phase-3 was to include two semicircular halves covering the eastern and western semi-circles of Outer Ring Road (ORR). A 33 km (21 mi) line was proposed to cover the eastern portion of ORR from Silk Board to Hebbal, while a 31.37 km (19.49 mi) line was to cover the western portion of ORR. A 21.31 km (13.24 mi) line linking Hosakerehalli to ORR at Marathahalli, passing through Old Airport Road was proposed to serve the areas of Domlur, Konena Agrahara and HAL. Another 33 Km line was from Carmelaram (Sarjapur Road) to Yelahanka, passing through Central College, Palace Guttahalli, Mehkri Circle and Hebbal. Another shorter line of 8.89 km (5.52 mi) line was proposed from Nice Road to Toll Gate (Magadi Road). Extension of the Red line (later renamed Pink line) to airport was also part of the third phase.

Some lines and sections that were proposed above for Phase 3 were included in Phase 2 as Phase 2A and Phase 2B.

In April 2019, plans for Phase 3 were revised and two key trunk lines cutting through the city were dropped. The revised plan had five lines totalling 83.02 km.[182] Two lines were proposed in north Bengaluru connecting KIADB Aerospace Park to Nagawara (25 km) and between Kogilu Cross and Rajankunte (10 km). Other proposed lines were from Hebbala to Jaya Prakash Nagara (31.37 km) and a 13-km line between Ibluru and Carmelaram. The revised plan was criticised by the general public because all lines were planned on the outskirts of the city, while the lines originally proposed had included lines that would pass through important areas within the city.[183][184]

In December 2019, BMRCL unveiled a Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) with further changes that included metro-lite lines, as detailed on table below. This was heavily criticised by the public as the CMP included elevated roads and again omitted the two key trunk routes cutting through the city.[185][186]

ORR West Line (Orange Line) 30 km
Magadi Road Toll gate-Kadabgere (Metrolite-Elevated) 13 km
Whitefield–Domlur Line (Metrolite-Elevated /MRT) 16 km
Katamanallur Gate–Sarjapura Road–Hebbal (Metrolite-Elevated /MRT) 52 km
Inner Ring Metro (UG) 34 km
TOTAL : 145 km

BMRC stated that they would name the ORR-west line as Orange line.[187]

In March 2020, chief minister BS Yediyurappa declared in his budget speech that the Outer Ring Road-West Metro and Magadi Road-Metrolite line would be developed on public-private partnership mode (PPP).[188]

In popular culture[edit]

Several films and commercials have been shot on the Namma Metro premises. The BMRCL charges 50,000 (US$700) for shooting inside a metro station, and 40,000 (US$560) for shoots inside a metro train during peak hours between 6 am to 10 pm. During non-peak hours, from 10 pm to 4 am, the agency charges 50,000 (US$700) for shoots inside metro stations and 20,000 (US$280) inside a train. The film producers must also make a security deposit of 5 lakh (US$7,000), as insurance for the metro property. Film shoots are permitted during three slots – 6 to 8 am, 12 pm to 2 pm, and 9 to 11 pm. Kannada films can avail lower rates.[189]

The first film to shoot on Namma Metro was the Kannada Blockbuster Ugramm in 2013. Later many other Kannada movies including 2015 film Rana Vikrama starring Puneeth Rajkumar and Adah Sharma, were shot using Namma Metro's facilities.[190]

The 2012 Malayalam film 22 Female Kottayam also has a song sequence shot in the Namma Metro coach.

In December 2016, Tamil film Imaikkaa Nodigal became the first film to shoot scenes inside the tunnel stretch of the Purple Line. According to BMRC officials, prior to this film, one Kannada film, one Telugu film and several commercials had been shot on the Namma Metro premises.[189]

On February 2017 a mobile game based on Namma Metro was released. It is called the Bangalore Metro Simulator 2017, which includes users to drive both Purple Line and Green Line.

Network Map[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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