A new stretch of Bengaluru's Namma Metro train service was inaugurated on Thursday, on the occasion of Makara Sankranti, and will be thrown open to the public from today.
The stretch on Green Line connects the existing Yelachenahalli Metro Station to the Silk Institute Metro Station on Kanakapura Road -- a highway out of Bengaluru.
It was flagged off by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri from Delhi through video conferencing and Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa who was on site with other ministers and leaders.
Delighted to join CM Karnataka Sh @BSYBJP Ji & my senior colleague in the council of ministers Sh @DVSadanandGowda Ji for the inauguration of the 6-km long Southern Extension of Bengaluru Metro Project through video conferencing. pic.twitter.com/wkTRvUuHxO— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) January 14, 2021
The Namma Metro now has a total of 56 kilometres of operational lines.
Though just 6 kilometres long, the new stretch on Green Line has five stops -- Konanakunte Cross, Doddakallasandra, Vajrahalli, Thalaghattapura and Silk Institute.
This line is key for the city's southern parts that have seen vast commercial and residential development over the past few years. The area, like many other parts of the city, is also infamous for its traffic jams.
The completion of this line is behind schedule, like much of the megaproject, and last-mile connectivity and parking at Metro stations still remain major challenges.
Last year's coronavirus outbreak-induced lockdown and the movement of migrant workers to their home states had put a halt to the work, but Metro workers were among the first to be allowed back on site as rules were eased starting June.
The Metro itself had seen a steady rise in ridership in the city where traffic snarls had become a constant until the lockdown in March last year. Though the ridership is slowly picking up now, it is still a long way from pre-pandemic figures.