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Namma Metro Review

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Date: October 2011

Namma Metro Photo Gallery :   Click Here

On 20th OCtober 2011, Namma Metro started its service in Bangalore. And I too was a part of the first day first ride of the historical event.   Namma Metro launch was delayed for quite some time, the original deadline for the first phase of the project was in December 2010.   Bangalorean's were fed up with the traffic and dealys happening due to Metro work. The Metro construction had taken a toll on the roads where Metro work was going on.  This was mainly due to movement of heavy equipements , machinery and materials.  A lot of people blamed the Metro officals for the damaged roads. And I too was one among them since I daily had to do a off-roading in Bangalore's terrific traffic in peak hours. It was a pain driving either in my car or in bike, since half of the roads had been taken up for Metro construction.  The growing traffic over the years in the IT capital made driving more difficult.
But the fact was most of the city roads in India have not been designed to handel such heavy weight machinery and materials.  When the work started initially it was a bit slow, but later on the work on Namma Metro picked up speed.  In the mean time the someone wanted to open the Metro operations even before completing the work and whithout seeing ground realities.   When the news came Metro would be opened for Sankrathi, I too was happy. But two weeks before the launch when I took a round of the Metro stations. I was shocked to see the progress of the work. It was impossible to complete in two weeks and I was expecting it would take another four months to compelete.  I wondered how did these people announce the opening even before work got completed.   
After a few days the Namma Metro launch date was postponed, and over a few months new dates were announced and again postponed. With the political drama going on in the state, no one was getting time to open the Namma Metro. And people in Bangalore saw Metro as a fading reality, with only deadlines and opening ceremony extending. 
When the dates were announced for October 20th, the excitment levels were less compared to the inital days. With the political drama still going on in the state, no one thought that Namma Metro will really starts its operation.  Four days before the launch I too thought let me check out whether this time they will keep the promise.  Did a complete end to end ride all along the metro and found that things had totally changed.  And from outside the station were looking very impressive. 
And on Monday evening when the decorated lights started to glow, I felt confident that Namma Metro will atlast be getting launched.  Bangalorean's were slowly realizing that Metro will be running at last and all were eagerly waiting for it.  I too decided not to miss the opportunity and take the historical ride on the first day.
On the Thursday left office early and travelled 7 KMS to take on the Metro. I was doubting whether I will be able to get into the Metro train since the newspaper reports said a lot of tickets had been sold.  But still I had made a point, even If I would not be able to take the ride on the first day. I will atleast get into the Metro station and take a Pic of Namma Metro.   Though I have travelled in Delhi Metro a few years back. Namma Metro was something special to Me and to all Bangalorea's.    But when I reached MG road station there was almost 1 KM of people standing for getting entry into the station on each side.   I thought standing like this  will take a few hours and getting a the ride would be painful.  So I thought let me check out some other stations, where I can get a entry. The next station was Trinity circle. There was no crowd. But there was no parking anywhere near by.  Atlast got some parking in one of the bylanes of MG road. And headed back to the station.
The Trinity Metro station was looking quite good from outisde. And when I entered the station it was all decked with exotic flowers and various types of decorative items. It was delight seening the Metro station like this.  There was escalator as well as stairs to climb to the station above.  Once we reached the station above the view of the station gave me a shock. It was just looking like any International airport, its was far beyond expectaions and everyone were chanting the same in the crowd.   The ambience was ultra modern and was beautifully decorated.  There were sufficient ticket counters and all relavent informations about Namma Metro dispalyed in all languages. 
We took the smart card for Rs 100 and it was valid for a year. There was travel time of Rs 50 credited into the lifetime card.   After taking the card, we swiped the card and headed to the Metro platform. It was quite spacious and well designed. We were eagerly waiting for the Metro train to come and looking at people excitment. 
After a while the Metro train appeared on the opposite side. It was full of people. And the crowd on the other side of the platform cheared the Metro. It soon vanished towards MG road and after a few minutes it reached back to Trinity station.  The brand new Metro Train was truly world class.  We immidetely boarded the Metro train and found the train already full. But there was enough space for standing comfortably and the Aircondition made the ride cooler.