BENGALURU: Pranab Mukherjee, President of India on Saturday inaugurated Namma Metro’s green line from Sampige Road station to Yelachenahalli Metro station, which also marked the completion of 42-Km Phase I project. The entire line would be opened for public use from 4 pm on Sunday.
“India is way behind in the implementation of Metro projects as compared to Europe and America. While Metro was constructed in London in 1864, Kolkata was the first city in India to have a metro in 1984.Metro system in New Delhi has also been successful,” Mukherjee said in his inaugural address.
In the next ten to fifteen years, he said, at least dozens of Indian cities will have Metro. “This is important to address the transportation issues of urban cities,” the president added.
Mukherjee hailed Bengaluru Metro authorities for completing the 42-Km metro network in less than ten years, despite the construction challenges. “This experience should enable the completion of 72-Km Phase II project on time,” he added.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the Rs 13,854 crore Namma Metro Phase I project was implemented with the financial support of both State and Union governments, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Agence française de développement and through bonds.
“Eight states in India already have Metro projects. While 370-Kms of the Metro line is operational, another 517-Kms of Metro line is under construction and 522-Kms of Metro line is under consideration”, M Venkaiah Naidu, union minister for Urban Development said. With demand for Metro projects growing in many states, he said the Centre would shortly come out with a National Metro Policy. “Innovative financing models or the value capture finance will be the highlight of this policy,” he added.
Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, governor of Karnataka had a different take on the funding part. Vala, who spoke after Naidu, said the Centre should fund Metro projects in Bengaluru particularly the second phase which costs Rs 24,405 crore.
“Bengaluru is a hub of service sector, industries, information & technology and medicine. It’s a resourceful state with a lot of revenue going to the Centre. Hence, it’s the responsibility of the Central government to give all the infrastructure facilities to Bengaluru,” Vajubhai, who was the finance minister in Gujarat said.
The inaugural event was witnessed by Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to India and Alexandre Ziegler, ambassador of France to India.
Fare goes up
On the launch day, Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited also increased the ticket fare on both green and purple line. Travelling between Baiyappanahalli to Mysuru Road metro station will cost Rs 45, instead of Rs 40. The minimum ticket fare for the first two stations will continue to be Rs 10. The end to end journey from Nagasandra to Yelachenahalli will cost Rs 60. The new fare will come into effect from June 18.