Bengaluru Metro Rail services from Baiyappanahalli to K R Puram, Kengeri to Challaghatta commences

After a long wait, Metro Rail services on two sections of the Purple Line from Baiyappanahalli to K R Puram and Kengeri to Challaghatta commenced its operations without any formal inauguration on Monday, completing metro connectivity between the East and West of Bengaluru.
Bengaluru Metro Rail services from Baiyappanahalli to K R Puram, Kengeri to Challaghatta commences
Bengaluru Metro Rail services from Baiyappanahalli to K R Puram, Kengeri to Challaghatta commences

Bengaluru | After a long wait, Metro Rail services on two sections of the Purple Line from Baiyappanahalli to K R Puram and Kengeri to Challaghatta commenced its operations without any formal inauguration on Monday, completing metro connectivity between the East and West of Bengaluru.

In a statement, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited said, "BMRCL wishes to inform the public regarding the opening of passenger services on the two sections between Krishnarajapura and Baiyappanahalli, a distance of 2.10 km with one station in between at Benniganahalli and the other beyond Kengeri to Challaghatta a distance of 2.05 km with effect from October 9." With the opening of these two vital sections, the entire East-West corridor, the Purple Line from Whitefield (Kadugodi) to Challaghatta, will be complete with a total length of 43.49 km and 37 metro stations, it said.

The operational network of BMRCL will increase from 69.66 km to 73.81 km with 66 metro stations, it added.

Sharing a video of the Metro Rail operations on the two important sections, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said on social media platform X, "Momentous! For the convenience of people, services on two stretches of Purple Line of #BengaluruMetro have been started without waiting for any VIP or elaborate opening ceremony to provide seamless connectivity on entire length from Challaghatta to Whitefield!" With this, the total length of India's second largest metro rail network, India's preferred mode of green, efficient and affordable urban commute has now increased to 73.81 km, he added.

According to BMRCL, the operational headway on East-West Corridor will be from Whitefield (Kadugodi) to Patandur Agrahara (10 minutes), Patandur Agrahara to Mysore Road (5 minutes), Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Station - Majestic to MG Road (3 minutes) during morning peak hours, Mysore Road to Challaghatta (10 minutes).

The last train from Whitefield (Kadugodi) would depart at 10.45 pm and from the rest of the terminal stations at 11.05 pm, it said.

The Metro rail services in these two stretches were a long pending demand of commuters who had run several online campaigns.

According to a BMRCL official, before opening of the K R Puram to Baiyappanahalli and Kengeri to Challaghatta on week days around 6.50 lakh passengers were travelling per day. With these two connectivity it is expected that around 7.50 lakh passengers may travel per day.

The Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) had inspected the newly constructed K R Puram – Baiyappanahalli and Kengeri – Challaghatta line in September. Both Metro stretches on the purple line received the safety nod and an approval from CMRS.

In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Rs 4,249 crore, 13.71 km Whitefield (Kadugodi) to Krishnarajapura Metro Line here.

The commencement of services on the two sections of the purple line has brought much relief to Bengalureans as they can finally avail Metro services on this line.

The extension of metro rail services from Baiyappanahalli to K R Puram was crucial as it offered an uninterrupted transport facility to Whitefield which has become a major IT-BT hub.

Rajkumar Dugar, a commuter, and founder Founder of the platform Citizens for Citizens said there was a gap on purple line between Krishnarajapura and Baiyappanahalli, which was not ready when it was inaugurated a few months ago. Because of lack of continuity, people had to get off at Krishnarajapura and then go by other means to Baiyappanahalli to catch the metro train again.

"Either you had to walk or depend on other vehicles. BMTC had started running some vehicles but then the frequency was low. It became a huge problem and people were spending on an average about 30-45 minutes in traversing that gap between K R Puram and Baiyappanahalli. It was also causing lot of congestion," he added.

According to him, connecting this gap was extremely crucial because that would make the trip without coming onto the roads.

Today, with metro services being operational on that stretch, the distance is being covered within four-five minutes in a continuous manner so it makes a massive difference to people who are using that corridor. Also other people who were not using the Metro because of lack of connectivity on this stretch due to gap may switch over to Metro services,” he said.

Sandeep Anirudhan, convener of Bengaluru Mobility said, “Now there is a viable corridor as an alternative to road transport throughout the city from east to west. It should result in a significant reduction in traffic on the road.” He said that ideally the BMTC should provide last mile services at every metro station to cover nearby places within two km radius, so that people need not use private transport even to reach metro stations.

Bengaluru South BJP MP Tejasvi Surya demanded that the state government now appoint full time managing directors for the BMRCL and Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Limited, (KRIDE).

"Even while Bengaluru is rejoicing the opening of the full #PurpleLine, we must demand the State Govt to appoint full time MDs for BMRCL and KRIDE. Metro and Suburban Rail are two most important public infrastructure projects of the city and can't be headed by part time leadership. I urge DCM Sri @DKShivakumar to immediately appoint full time MDs for both BMRCL and KRIDE to ensure efficient administration," he said on X.

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