With about 70,000 vehicles choking the roads and causing gridlocks across the city, the Karnataka government has decided to extend the commuter service of the state-run Bengaluru Metro network to 300 km from 119 km at a whopping cost of ₹ 30,695 crore, an official said on Thursday.
“To ease the chaotic traffic across the city where about 80,000 vehicles choke the arterial roads, the state government has decided to extend the metro rail network to 300 km by adding 181 km in the third phase to reach satellites towns by 2025,” an official in the Chief Minister’s Office told here.
The 43-km metro network in its phase-1 is being expanded by another 76 km in phase-2 at a cost of 26,405 crore to provide efficient and punctual service to more commuters across the bustling city from 2021.
“As the Bengaluru Metro Rail Transport Corporation Ltd (BMRTCL) is a Centre-State funded project, we are approaching the Central government for its equity share and approvals to fast-track its third phase,” said the official monitoring the project.
In phase-3, the service will be extended to Hoskote on the city’s eastern outskirts from K.R. Puram, up to Electronics City in the southern suburb from Silk Board under construction in phase-2, Ramangaram from Kengeri in south-west, and Nelamengala from Nayandanahalli in the north-west and to Devanahalli from M.G. Road station in the northern suburb, connecting the city with the airport, about 40 km away.
“An extended metro service and a 162-km suburban rail service will not only ease pressure on roads, highways and flyovers, but also minimise migration of people from towns and villages around the city to reduce pressure on the civic amenities,” the official said.
The metro services on the east-west and north-south routes ferry about 4-5 lakh citizens on the 43-km route, easing pressure on the state-run bus service plying across the city.
To promote public transport and discourage use of cars and two-wheelers for commuting across the city, the state government has decided to hire about 6,000 buses to be operated by the state-run Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).
“Bengaluru Mobility Management Authority will soon be set up to jointly regulate and maintain traffic of buses, metro and suburban rail services across the city,” the official added.