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The dream of the residents of West and North Bangalore to ride the Namma Metro will become a reality this weekend making it that much special. The 10-km line of Namma Metro Reaches 3 and 3a, between Peenya Industry and Sampige Road Metro Stations, will be thrown open to the people at 6 a.m. on March 1.

As someone who has personally taken an interest in the introduction of metro services in Bangalore I am nothing but thrilled at this dream come true moment. And also a bit nostalgic. During my days as the Union Minister of Urban Development, under the Premiership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee I was involved in drafting of a policy called the National Urban Transport Policy, which foresaw settlements with more than 10 lakh people in them should have metros. As part of that vision in 2003 Delhi Metro Rail Corporation prepared a detailed project report in which the idea of Bangalore Metro was conceived.

 Unfortunately even though we could not be part of the central Government since 2004 I owed the people of Bangalore as my responsibility of being their public representative the assurance regarding the implementation of our vision. For that I keenly observed as the underground work commenced in May 2011 under the state BJP government and gave my assistance in any manner possible. It was an ecstatic day for me on October 20, 2011 when I joined my colleague the then Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath to launch the Namma Metro operation. The length of this first stretch may have been small, 6.7 kilometers with six stations, but the expectations were huge. That the people of Bangalore swamped the two stations of the inaugural stretch is testimony to their excitement .

I can say with joy that it was my friend the then Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda who granted the administrative approval for phase II of Namma Metro, and it will consist of 72 kms. But approvals of projects shoud also involve citizen engagement. To ensure that and my responsibility of being a public envoy last year, I invited Shri  N. Sivasailam, Managing Director, BMRCL to have a citizen’s meet to assure the residents of South Bangalore localities that their grievances related to the Phase 2 of “Namma Metro” will be dealt with.

May the dream of the Bangaloreans about a traffic-free city and of course efficient transportation streams ahead.

Namma Metro