The biggest day ever in the history of Bangalore?

How the nuts, bolts, rivets, cables, moats, etc, will look like under the wheels when Namma Metro slides into and slips out of the Ulsoor station for its trial run from Monday, January 24, 2011.

Is the launch of the Metro the most momentous event in the history of Bangalore? If not, which one? The opening of the Vidhana Soudha?

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News


The Namma Metro photo portfolio

Do not try this at home (if you have a few bogies)

From the BEML end, right arm over the wicket

The giant violin-box hanging above ‘Parades’

It’s still not here, but it’s already kind of here

Yes, it’s for real, and it’s purple and off-white

4 cars, 3 SUVs, 8 bikes, and 16 autorickshaws

Oh God, what have they done to my M.G. Road

Saturdays, girlfriends, popcorn and other memories

Every picture tells a tale. Babu‘s can fill a tome.

Not a picture that will make it to Lonely Planet

Amar, Akbar, Antony. Or Ram, Robert, Rahim

Only a low-angle shot can convey its great girth

Lots of work overground for an underground rail

The unsung heroes in the dreams of Bangaloreans

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29 Responses to “The biggest day ever in the history of Bangalore?”

  1. Vikram Hegde Says:

    My nomination for the greatest day in history of Bangalore is the day it fell to the British during the Third Anglo-Mysore war in 1790. That was probably the last major war fought in Bangalore and it is one big reason why Bangalore is not like Mysore today.

  2. Jagadish Says:

    I think the biggest event happened so gradually that none of us noticed it at all.

    Those among us who were around in the 1960s and 70s will remember the Bangalore that was then. I really loved my city, the city of my grandparents, great grandparents, older generations. I could breathe clean air. We had no ceiling fans at home even in summer. I could drive easily on the roads. I could actually get a seat on the bus. I paid 20 paise for short trips as a student.

    And people actually spoke Kannada. Remember, that foreign language?

  3. div Says:

    I hope ‘namma metro’ will not be restricted to just two lines. Metro can become the default mode of transportation for everyone if a metro station can be reached by walk (yes, by walk, not by taxi, not by bus, not by car) in 5-10 minutes or so from anywhere in the city….then people will use metro. If this can be achieved, then Bangalore can be one of the greenest cities in India, true to its name “garden city”. What I am suggesting here is something like New York city subway. You can walk to a subway station in 5-10 minutes (almost) anywhere in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx and queens and go almost anywhere else for just $2.25 There are 468 stations in the city and more than 5 million (yes, 50 lakh people) ride NYC subway every weekday. The best feature is that once you enter a station, you can make any number of free transfers until your final destination.

  4. Goldstar Says:

    The greatest day for Bangalore is still in the far future, if and when the Kadirenahalli underpass gets inaugurated.

    Such an inspiring fantastic story of amazing project management skills.

  5. Vinay Says:

    Yep, this is the biggest day in the history of Bangalore. Going by the number of people it will benefit – people across all classes of society – this is certainly the biggest day in our history.

    Things like Vidhana Soudha and the Devanahalli airport affect very few people’s lives in this vast city. What we are getting now is the best gift to the ordinary people of the city.

  6. Arrow Says:

    Certainly would rank as one of the most momentous event in the history of the city. Should have been in place atleast 25 years ago, but better late than never!

  7. twistleton Says:

    Doesn’t feel like it.

    Perhaps it will when the future becomes the past.

    The succes of the Metro can be measured by how it changes the lives of all involved in the process – the planners, the engineers, the supervisors, the labourers and their families, the trees that made way for it, the people displaced and of course the commuters, the operators and finally the roads of Bangalore.


    Goldstar I hear you :D

    That day will be the day of deliverance comparable to the Exodus. It shall become legend and the underpass a place of worship.

  8. Vinay Says:


    “Should have been in place atleast 25 years ago, but better late than never!”

    Exactly, and that is why I wish these people start building metros in tier-II cities like Mysore immediately, instead of waiting for the land prices to go up, traffic to increase, etc.

    But unfortunately, if one suggests such a thing as a metro for Mysore, there are enough people who will jump on you (even on this blog), and scream about “letting Mysore remain untouched by all this”, “not making Mysore another Bangalore”, and so on. :-(

  9. vindy Says:

    biggest day is when the metro actually runs as per promises !!!

  10. babuds Says:

    I think the biggest event will not happen during trial run of Metro, which will be photo op for our nethas. The real big event will happen on the day when the metro on pillars is thrown open to the unsuspecting public. I see a disaster awaiting to happen, considering the metro ry stations being smaller than mini theaters with 2 tracks taking up half the station space. On the first day I see a big stampede with people pushing themselves under the running trains. Will that not be a big event?

  11. Sanjeeva Says:

    Will the Metro help in reducing the traffic problems?! I am rather sceptic. With the increase in human population and huge increase in number of vehicles, will Bangalore’s traffic ever see relief? For our country, only decentralization is the final solution. All these Metro, road-widening, flyovers, underpasses are temporary measures.

  12. Vinay Says:


    Care to explain why such a “big stampede with people pushing themselves under running trains” has not happened in all these years of Delhi metro, which has the same design as Namma metro?

    I think you are one of those troublesome CMH road shopkeepers who protested for months against the metro because you didn’t want to take even the minimum effort to move to the BDA complex Indiranagar for some days. Either that, or you must be one of those jobless guys who have been marching on the roads of Bangalore protesting against the metro.

  13. Anti Corrupt Says:

    I fully agree with Vikram Hegde. British made Bangalore what it is today.
    Bangalore actually came under their full and direct control only in 1831 after the East India Company took the direct charge of Mysore state for the next 50 years.

    Mysore looks like a dull, boring place. Bangalore is vibrant and full of energy.

  14. twistleton Says:


    The day things happen without protest then you can be sure that democracy has left the building.

    Even a stubborn shopkeeper/jobless person have a right to air their views just like you.

    Don’t measure change by only YOUR degree of convenience. It was highly inconvenient for that shopkeeper to move his entire establishment to a different place. He has every reason to be cheesed off.

  15. Kelu Janamejaya Says:

    I am sure, if not in 2011, atleast by 2015 we would have a full fledged first phase of metro connecting different parts of Bangalore. And this would mean freedom from the choking traffic, atleast for those who opt to travel in Metro.

  16. the colonel Says:

    its late by thirty years. so how long more before the spitting starts and the urinating.

  17. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    “Ulsoor,” ulcer alla swami, ‘Halasooru.”

  18. Murthy Says:

    The biggest event would be when the metro system is expanded to cover much of the city and we see a big drop in the number of vehicles, consequently much lowered pollution levels.

    I won’t be surprised if the metro is run like BMTC and people loathe even going near a station. I hope not, but I am not optimistic. They can learn from Delhi.

  19. Vinay Says:


    They have a right to air their views, and I have a right to call them troublesome and obstructionist. I am not sure if you have followed this case closely. Namma metro was willing to bend backward to accommodate these people’s concerns, but these traders were not willing to budge even an inch. Electricity reaches their shops because entire villages were relocated to make dams, and those poor villagers hardly get anything substantial in the name of “compensation”. In this CMH traders vs BMRCL tangle, the BMRCL was willing to go out of their way but this traders association was in no mood to compromise even an inch.

    Disinformation campaigns to malign the very concept of the metro became the order of the day with these people. Stuff like “Air pollution will be far worse than it is now”, “While the Metro is getting built, some of the key roads are going to be blocked”, “Commute time will not be reduced for most residents of Bangalore. Commuting will be an even worse nightmare, taking twice as long as it does now.”, “Many (most?) of us will suffer the construction, but will not be alive to see its final fruit.”,”white elephant”, and so on.

    Such nonsense and malicious arguments were circulated by these vested interests. And they chose the sure shot way of doing it – by “recruiting” NGOs/other “public service” agencies to advance their own personal agenda.

    So you must excuse me if I look with suspicion at certain kinds of comments. Have seen enough to make an educated guess about the motivations behind them.

  20. karihaida Says:

    Who are these people who loathe going near BMTC ?
    If metro is run like BMTC I would be quite happy, but I don’t think it will make any impact till the coverage is increased multi-fold.

  21. babuds Says:


    You did not take my point. What I meant was the “Namma Metro on sticks” is an apology for a metro. A full pledged Metro will be a tube or Subway, where station space will not be a problem. Unless lathi wielding police or some other crowd control measures are in place stampede is a certainty in such rickety place. I am not a CMH road shopkeeper as you had entitled me. Thanks anyway for your response.

  22. Vinay Says:


    Well, we have a good example of such a metro in operation very close to home, in Delhi. I don’t think we need worry too much. Even large parts of the London “tube” are above ground, on stilts/pillars.

    Of course putting the entire thing underground is the best possible scenario, but it is financially nonviable…

  23. Faldo Says:

    The addition of Namma Metro to Bengaluru is welcome step. There could well be issues like the one Babuds raised and there is no disputing of the fact that crowd control as well as better management of the intersections near the stations is a must.
    The concerned authorities should now take steps for better arterial transportation and coordination of bus routes, in alignment with the metro schedules. Auto-rickshow fares from metro stations to nearby points should be monitored so metro commuters are not fleeced unneccessarily. Otherwise, the benefits of the metro would not be felt by a large number of people who do not live within a walkable distance of the metro lines.

  24. mounaprasad Says:

    >>A full pledged Metro will be a tube or Subway, where station space will not be a problem. >>

    Need not be so. According to my geologist friend, the rocky underbelly of Bangalore makes it nearly impossible for a subway kind of metro and would have cost us much more to implement.

  25. Arrow Says:


    You are spot on Sir!. Being a resident very near to the Underpass being constructed, and having undergone the pain and suffering like many, this one project can be showcased and made a case study on the sheer irresponsibleness, insensitivity, callousness, misapproriation and unprofessional, planning and execution, which has caused the project to be delayed endlessly.

    One can hardly find handful of people being involved in the construction activity and going by the pace it is going now, this underpass wont be a reality in the next few years!

    Certainly a classic example of amazing project management skills

  26. poli huduga Says:

    Certainly a milestone and look fwd to the day when we have multiple lines and Bangalore will be like New York or London where the metro is widespread and part of the fabric of the city. Between now and then ,however, lies 15 years of construction, dust and noise.

  27. Yogesh Says:

    @goldstar – good one

    @ murthy – visit delhi metro once, you will realize that its not a great role model. I was their 2 weeks back, the Chandni chowk, NDLS metro stations are dirty, stained, broken tiles. I believe its over rated. NY metro is the place to look for inspiration. The Naples metro should have been the inspiration for Blore metro ( – Aneesh Kapoor has contributed there) We have wasted a great opportunity.

  28. Dr. Mahadevaswamy Says:

    metro opening is not at all for big day for Bangaloreans there are other land mark events in the history of Bangalore

  29. Dr. Mahadevaswamy Says:

    The people and government authority has to see and experence of Delhi Metro it is a begining

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