Rickin Sanklecha, Pune
The Whitefield-Challaghatta corridor of the Bengaluru metro sprung into full operation on Monday. This purple line being open for service has made it possible for passengers to travel from the west of Bengaluru to the east in just 80 minutes.
This stretch of line between Baiyappanahalli and KR Pura, further up to Challaghatta was a missing link that was in great demand by commuters in Bengaluru. The first train from Baiyappanahalli to KR Pura kick-started the purple line on 9th October.
The entire metro network in the city will now cover 72.5 km, making it the second largest metro system in the country, second to Delhi at 350.2 km. While the launch was initially planned for October 6th, it was pushed behind due to permission delays from the government. A campaign called #StartPurpleLineOperations was also launched by the city dwellers to express their frustrations over the delay in the launch of the Purple Line.
To expedite the process without any more obstacles the Urban Development Department of Karnataka issued a letter, with the Additional Chief Secretary stating, “In view of the above, these two sections of the Metro lines should be opened for passenger service immediately on the morning of October 9, 2023, without any formal or informal official function, so that daily commuters can immediately benefit from the opening of these two important sections.”
With the end-to-end fare fixed at Rs.60, the launch of this line is estimated to shoot up Bengaluru Metro’s ridership from its current 6.2 lakhs to 7 lakhs. While Metro Rail Safety’s approval for this project was received earlier in September, other formalities led to a delay in its implementation.
There are further plans to start loop services between Challaghatta and Whitefield for easy commuting around this stretch. After several missed launch deadlines, the metro line for the Whitefield-Challaghatta corridor is now fully operational with the first train that ran at 5 am on Monday.