I’m back after a short hiatus and this time, not with baby tales. I see that this space has becomes more or less a mommy-blog, which I suppose is normal; but I feel I have neglected the other aspects of my writing. Earlier I had a wide variety of subjects that I felt like writing about and sharing my thoughts on, but with the arrival of the baby, all that has taken a back-seat. There are events happening around me, and I have opinions/ thoughts on them as before, but those thoughts never find their way onto this blog-space. Today I decided to make an attempt to get back to my former writing style and substance.
And what best to start on than the ‘talk of the town’? Namma Metro! 🙂 Yes! It is finally here! Today at 4 PM the inaugural run of Reach 1, is scheduled to be flagged off between the MG Road and the Byappanahalli stretch. As this article will tell you, the trains will stop at Trinity, Halasuru, Indiranagar and Swami Vivekananda Road stations for 30 seconds each and the frequency of the trains will be 10 minutes. From tomorrow the regular services are slated to be started from 6 AM in each direction between Byappanahalli and MG Road.
Can you tell that I am super-excited! Gosh! We will finally have the metro zipping across our city! Though it is just a single line being started at the moment, it is a giant step taken, I feel. Better late than never! If there is one thing that was lacking in our city, according to me, it was the metro rail transport system. Having been in several cities abroad and in India and seeing how much difference having a metro makes to the time taken to commute within the city, I always felt that Bangalore sorely missed having one. I thought that it was one aspect of planning for the city which had been left undone too late, cities like London and Paris have an excellent inter-city and suburban rail transport system that was designed and built nearly 100 years ago. If they could do it then, why couldn’t we? Well, I suppose nobody anticipated the kind of bludgeoning growth that the city witnessed in the last few decades, but still, realizing that plan on paper was much delayed.
As the chairman of the commission’s working group and MD of Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) E Sreedharan says: “Seven cities are already building the Metro. If the city’s population is 2 million, they must start planning for a Metro now. To me, the Metro rail should be a revolution in urban transport. How else are we going to handle this urbanization that’s going on at a frenetic pace? Buses can cope with just 8,000 passengers per hour.”
Rants aside, I am truly, really, amazingly and goose-bumped-ly happy that I am part of the generation that witnessed the metro services being launched in Bangalore. Did you know that our metro is really high on tech?
Check these out:
- Ballastless track system
- Electricity runs on third rail
- Wi-fi enabled coaches, internet access
- Emergency call button
- Voice communication/speaker system between passengers, driver and control centre
- CCTVs inside stations and trains
- Automatic train supervision, safety and protection that will sense another train on the same track and come to a halt
- Stainless steel coaches made by Hyundai Rotem and Mitsubishi
- Automatic ticketing
- Recharge of metro cards through mobiles and SMS, a first in the world
Wow! Isn’t that amazing?! In fact it is supposed to be so stable that you can drink your coffee without spilling a drop, as this article will tell you. The logo for the metro is the Rangoli. In the words of the designers Jayanth Jain and Mahendra Kumar: “Rangoli has been an intrinsic part of Bangalore’s culture. With the explosion in vehicle population, it faced the prospect of being lost forever. We wanted to revive this traditional art while depicting the seamless, continuous connectivity of the Metro covering all parts of the city, and it became the inspiration for the logo”
The route map for Phase-1 according to their website is this:
But as many of us have seen and need to know, the journey hasn’t been easy. If there is one man who has taken all the brickbats till now and needs the bouquets, it is N Sivasailam. He has led from the front and has overcome a lot of adverse situations to bring the metro to us. You can read some instances and the team’s experiences here. It has left a lot of broken hearts especially with the demolitions – no compensation can replace their loss; but in retrospect, it was something that we as Bangalore citizens needed the most. So, it is hats off Mr.Sivasailam and his relentless team. We’re proud of you and thank you wholeheartedly.
On this eve, E Sreedharan , in his message to Bangalore says:
“I want Bangalore Metro to be the best. Bangaloreans must take pride in their first mass rapid transit system. With this, we’ve proved to the world that we can construct world-class transport systems”
We definitely are a proud and happy lot! Now, all that I need to do is go to MG Road and hop on to the metro and take a joy-ride! I am eagerly looking forward to doing that! 🙂