President Pranab Mukherjee will flag off the Green Line of the Bengaluru Metro on June 17, said a top official on Friday. "President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted our invitation and agreed to inaugurate the underground section of the Green Line," Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola told IANS.
The President will inaugurate the 10.5 km stretch between Mantri Square and Yelachenahalli. The Metro train service on Reach 4 (National College to Rashtreeya Vidyalaya), 4A (Rashtreeya Vidyalaya to Puttenahalli) and the underground section (between Sampige Road and National College) of the Green Line will be thrown open to commuters from June 18. "We have completed all pending works and are ready for the inaugural function," Kharola said.
The north-south corridor is named Green Line and the east-west corridor Purple Line. The two corridors intersect at Kempegowda station which has a two-level interchange station. Commuters who intend to travel from a station on Purple Line to a station on Green Line will have to change the train at Kempegowda station without coming out of paid area. The commuters can buy a single token for the complete journey.
Kempegowda Metro station is in the city centre. Commissioner of Railway Safety K.A. Manoharan inspected the 12 km Sampige Road-Puttenahalli section of the Green Line for three days from May 29. The inspection was the final step to the start of commercial operations on the entire 24.2 km Green Line which marks the completion of works on Bengaluru's 42.3 km Phase 1 project of BMRCL.
"We have received the safety certificate from Manoharan on Thursday. The inaugural function will be held at Vidhana Soudha between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m." BMRCL Chief Public Relations Officer U.A. Vasanth Rao told IANS. Metro's Phase 1 was delayed for more than six years due to various reasons because of which the cost of the 42.3 km metro network shot up to Rs 8,158 crore from the earlier estimate of Rs 3,845 crore.
An estimated 5 lakh commuters are likely to use the metro service daily on its north-south and east-west route as against 1.9 lakh currently. Though the Phase 1 project work began in April, 2007, the original deadline was extended to 2017 from 2010 owing to inordinate delays and cost overruns. The metro service began on Reach 1 on October 20, 2011, between M.G. Road and Baiyappanahall in the city's east followed by the service between Sampige Road and Nagasandra on March 1, 2014, from Mysore Road to Magadi Road on November 16, 2015.