The first CTTP for Bangalore had been carried out in 1963-64 by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI, New Delhi). This study, though termed “Comprehensive” had focused on the road system, & had proposed construction of 138 km of ring roads, 77.5 km arterial roads & various grade separators, pedestrian subways and truck terminals.
An effort to refresh the data & update the proposals was made by the BDA (Town Planning Dept) in 1977. One of its recommendations was to look into a mass rapid transit project, i.e. a Metro system, or similar.
This hade been taken up by a high-level Committee in 1981 & the Lynne Committee, that had been appointed, agreed that a Metro study was warranted, and a team from Southern Railways, Chennai (Madras, then) was commissioned to do this.
In 1983, the Southern Railway team recommended a 2-corridor Metro of 24 km, & also 3 commuter rail lines, and a 58-km ring railway over a 25-year period. No action followed this proposal.
In 1988, RITES was commissioned to do another transport study, with a broad coverage of roads, traffic and mass transit. The study was completed, proposing various road & traffic improvements, & also improvements on commuter rail lines, but again without much follow-up action.
In 1993, the State established another committee to look into mass rapid transit. This committee recommended the same metro project put forward by Southern Railways in 1983 and the same circular railway. Again, there was no follow up action.
Meanwhile, the CDP that had been made & approved in 1984 was again revised in 1994 due to very high unanticipated growth, & finally approved in 1995. This plan was a zoning document with rough locations for road networks – It had no bearing on transport matters.
In 1994, the Bangalore Mass Rapid Transit Ltd was created, to seek a public /private partnership for a mass rapid transit project (25/75 basis). The government also introduced a special city cess dedicated to the anticipated mass rapid transit project. BMRTL commissioned a feasibility study, which pointed in the direction of an Elevated Light Rail, 96-km long network on 6 routes. The alignment was on major radial roads, & the first route, completely elevated, was from Aranganagudda on Mysore road, to Indiranagar bus depot (via Chord rd, Platform rd, KG rd, Residency rd, MG rd & OMR). The capacity was about 25,000 phpdt. The forecast was that it would attract 40% of road-based traffic. Some action followed, at last. UB Group undertook further development of the project on a BOT basis. After more detailed studies of costs & demands were made, they asked for a 94/6 funding formula (the study probably showed poor profitability – this study report has not been made public). The matter had ended there as they were prepared to bring in only 6%, which was unacceptable to the state.
In 1999, BMTC commissioned a feasibility study for a bus-based mass rapid transit system (BRT). The study, completed in 1999, identified a network of 20 bus routes, composed of Siamese-twin central rings intersected by 8 radial routes. A pilot 12-km line from Jayanagar to Shivajinagar was estimated to cost Rs.39.5 crores. This included the exclusive corridors /depots & 35 dedicated vestibule buses, provided as aid by SIDA (Swedish International Development Agency). Nothing is known about this proposal – it has not been rejected, nor has it been accepted. Press reports at the time suggested that SIDA was not prepared to provide the rolling stock since the city had failed to create the corridors, despite studies endorsing it’s viability.
In 2003, DMRC was commissioned to carry out a detailed study for a metro, to be done along the same technical & financial approach used in Delhi. This entailed a 25/25 contribution from the Center & the State /City, the rest to be borrowed from domestic & international sources (specifically JBIC). The feasibility study also included an environmental impact analysis. The study recommended a 2-line metro, 18 km and 15 km in length, cross-shaped, with the middle of the cross at Majestic. Station spacing was to be 1 km on average (32 stations of which 7 underground). This proposal had been accepted, & the actions following this, went the full distance, finally, though debates had delayed the start of construction.