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Metro /Mono Routes - Suggestions

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Metro RailPublic Transport

Soil tests are being conducted in various parts of the city for Ph-2 of the Metro. Routes may be finalized based on results of soil tests, but the locations give a fair idea of how the routes are being planned.

There were a few concerns which I had & these are summarized in a letter & map with suggestions that has been forwarded to BMRC (via email).

( Download Higher Resolution Map )

August 6, 2009


The Managing Director,

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.,


Dear Sir,

Re:  Suggestions for Improvement in Plans for Mass–Transit Routes

I have been closely following the developments toward resolving traffic congestion problems in the city with Mass Transit systems. As per indications from soil-testing that has been taking place & assuming that I am generally keeping in line with BMRC’s Metro development plans as also Scomi-Geodesic’s Monorail proposals, I have the following suggestions :

Metro Phase-2, Second N-S line

1)      It would be ideal to run this service along Hosur road, but if my understanding is correct, this may not be possible due to agreements in place between the government & BETL.

2)      If the condition above were indeed true, then the alignment would have to follow Bannerghatta road. In this case, as needs are not the same over different sections along this very long route, this line could be split into three sections. A very frequent service would be necessary within ORR, whereas services can be less frequent for areas north & south of ORR. The southern route from RV road terminal along Bannerghatta road to EC can be aligned along NICE peripheral road, assuming that agreements with NICE permit this. The northern route to Yelahanka from Cubbon road can be operated even less frequently.

3)      Alternately, the services could be run by terminating every second train at ORR, whilst allowing the others to go the whole distance, so as to avoid wastage & result in reduced frequency past ORR.

4)      On the southern route, tracks could be doubled between IIM & EC to allow for express /skip-stop services to EC (past IIM) during peak hours with simultaneous operation of ordinary, less frequent services that stop at all stations. This could help in making this route more viable without investing excessively high since Metro will have to compete with the tolled, overhead expressway along Hosur road.

Metro Phase-2, Second E-W line

5)      If my intuition is correct, this line is being planned between Whitefield & Mysore road terminal without any interface with the 1st E-W line. This can cause inconveniences for many passengers – say for those bound from old airport road to Rajajinagar or from Kathriguppe to Indiranagar. Such commuters will have to make two transfers & besides, it will increase their travel time since they will have to hop on one of the N-S routes also for a short distance in-between. This can easily be weeded out by a small change in the alignment by planning it to go past trinity circle & providing an interface there with the 1st E-W line.

Monorail Route proposals

6)      The red route (Route-1) proposed by Scomi-Geodesic had overlaps with Metro phase-2 lines on the east & southwest. Also, the route could be extended to some more highly developed, but poorly served areas in the south. Hence, it is suggested that this route be changed & merged with the proposed blue line Mono route.

7)      The green line (Route-2) proposal between Agara lake & Rajajinagar Link road–Sujatha Talkies intersects all four Metro lines & also does not overlap or duplicate with other lines anywhere. It also provides connectivity to many central activity areas. It is thus suggested that this line be left unchanged, except for minor revisions to take the route past Shantinagar bus terminus & along H.Siddiah road (which is being widened) & also to cover parts of JC road.

A few other suggestions for new Monorail lines in the future are as follows :

1)      A new line from Koramangala 1st block TTMC along 80-feet peripheral road, IRR, Domlur, Indiranagar 12th–13th Main roads, 80-feet road, Jeevanbhima nagar main road, Suranjandas road, Bagmane Tech park, LRDE, CV Raman nagar, DRDO township, Nagvarpalya main rd to OMR /Byappanahalli is feasible & may also become necessary soon. This route will connect the shopping /commercial areas & schools /offices in Indiranagar & Koramangala as also Bagmane Tech park & the IT facilities on IRR with the two E-W Metro lines & other Monorail routes.

2)      Another viable route in the future may be along Tannery road via Bangalore east station & along Banaswadi road past ORR to Ramamurthy nagar & thence on to OMR, but this will involve some land acquisition in way of the railway overpass near Lingarajapuram.

3)      A new line from Mysore road (near Sirsi circle) along Magadi road, going past tollgate Metro station may also become necessary later in the future, as recommended in the CTTP report.

4)      It also seems obvious that extension of the route along ORR-Southeast (Sarjapur road) will become necessary in later years.


The route suggestions are shown on a map attached. I would be much obliged if you could advise if suggestions such as this are useful since a lot of effort goes into developing them.

Thanking you for your kind attention,

Capt.Naveen Chandra

Praja Bangalore ( http: )

Mob: 99455-62470

Attached :

a)  Map with Route plans proposed.
b)  Scomi-Geodesic’s Monorail proposal.


orange_4444's picture

Bigger image

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Thank you for this post. Is it possible for you to post a larger version of the above image, or to provide a link to the same?


n's picture

Very commendable effort

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Thanks for sharing. Had a hard time figuring out Monorail Route 1 (blame the eyes ;-) or the map size?); agree with 1, 2, 3, 5.  Agree with orange_4444 that the bigger picture (pun intended) will help in pixel peeping. Some questions (if your mail is answered or called for discussion by the authorities):

1) Is it feasible to have both the metro and BETL parallel or better to use a BMTC frequent feeder along BETL (maybe by having a dedicated bus lane)?

2) More important, do the mono (or maybe metro) routes compete with existing high-frequency BMTC bus routes and TTMCs? The metro/mono authorities need to be pressed to coordinate with using and maybe augmenting BMTC facilities unlike the first phase.

This is the important stage for prajagalu to participate - discuss it to death (with authorities and experts) for maybe a month, have another month for pre-resolving property/right-of-way/environment issues, set it in stone and finish the project on-time.

As an aside: Alignment should not be based on soil conditions alone (unless soils are poor for long stretches). It should primarily be based on traffic patterns and potential growth; of course needs to avoid politicians' lands and temples ;-)

n's picture


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May be too late - reports suggest that the alignment may be frozen.  Also, start of soil tests may indicate the same.

blrsri's picture

bigger map..

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This was posted on Praja sometime ago..

The details are little better.. 

Naveen's picture

N - Yr Queries

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Normal 0

Is it feasible to have both the metro and BETL parallel or better to use a BMTC frequent feeder along BETL (maybe by having a dedicated bus lane)?

I am not sure, but indications are that Metro will not be aligned on Hosur road – I’m assuming that this is because of agreement/s between BETL & Govt rather than because of the presence of the tollway at the median. Further, exclusive busway/s may also not be permitted on the tollway (due to potential loss of business).

Bus services will of course have to continue to be available along Hosur road, but may be inconvenient for those coming from long distances since it will involve multiple changeovers. Thus, a more direct, fast rail connection is necessary.

do the mono (or maybe metro) routes compete with existing high-frequency BMTC bus routes and TTMCs? The metro/mono authorities need to be pressed to coordinate with using and maybe augmenting BMTC facilities unlike the first phase.

I am not clear what you meant. I don’t think any of the public transport services should compete with one another. Rather, they must complement each other for best results. BMTC must play the role of feeder services for metro /mono, & also provide services for areas not covered by rail-based mass-transit systems.

May be too late - reports suggest that the alignment may be frozen.  Also, start of soil tests may indicate the same.

The link you provided was related to old discussions – at that stage, it had not been known how Metro Ph-2 routes were being planned, though generally, the requirement was to connect EC, Whitefield & Yelahanka. Based on all the soil-testing now, the picture is much clearer now. I see some weaknesses in the route plans, & hence the letter to BMRC.


orange_4444's picture

The above plan looks pretty

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The above plan looks pretty comprehensive, albeit a bit ambitious given the pace of things right now.

Also, I completely agree with you on the interface between the 2nd and 1st EW lines at Trinity circle. All new lines should, as much as possible, have good interchanges with existing lines.

A few things on my mind:

1) Low density on Old Airport Road?

The 10km stretch between Richmond Road and Marathahalli has two pockets of density - around Domlur area, and at Marathahalli itself. A lot of it is Army/HAL land. I doubt whether this line will achieve sufficient ridership.

The image posted above by blrsri:

seems to suggest that the existing EW line will split and service Marathahalli and Whitefield areas.

And the Domlur area is covered by your monorail proposal.

2) Second NS line alignment?

I remember a post on Praja a while back - but I can't find it now. Instead of taking the line up Hosur road towards Brigade road, it described something like this:

This covers Cantonment railway station, Shanti Nagar and Shivaji Nagar bus terminals, commerical street area, educational institutions(around residency road and around Dairy circle / Hosur road area)...

Going up Hosur road you basically reach the Military Grounds and School.

3) Whitefield as a satellite town?

Another thing to look at is, instead of having two connections into Whitefield area, have a single stop (say near ITPL), and have a monorail/light rail covering the entire area from Whitefield to Marathahalli.

Sort of like the "Bukit Panjang LRT" of Singapore.

Whitefield is becoming a self sufficient area, with entertainment, housing and offices, and should be developed as its own satellite city, instead of enlarging Bangalore's boundaries to engulf it. 

This is somewhat controversial, as it is suggesting to improve connectivity within the Whitefield area, and make it a longer commute into town.

To sum up

- Metro is expensive at some 200 crores / km (?). We should do anything possible to achieve the maximum catchment area. Just like the first EW line is going through Ulsoor / CMH road rather than Old Madras Road, to gain ridership, the future lines too must achieve that.

- A fixed system like the Metro does not just serve the present needs of people, but also shapes future needs. Therefore, we should think about how to connect satellite towns, and also encourage them to be self sufficient.

- I also feel that, when demand is especially lopsided (like connecting Electronic city - where presumably most of the people will commute to/for work), it may be better to have bus lanes, and perhaps allow company/private buses on these lanes, rather than building a metro line that may be wasted for most hours of the day.

- Finally, I feel that more discussion is needed on monorail. Especially since monorails are not as standardized as Metro, we don't want to be stuck with one provider of monorail... without the flexibility of choosing other vendors for coaches etc...



Naveen's picture

Mass Transit Routes - Clarifications

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a)  Yes, the plan is comprehensive. You would agree that without a long-term vision, routes may come up haphazardly. Further, as you mentioned, costs are very high & there will be no undoing any routes, once built.

An example is the N-S route presently being built. This route would have served much better if it had diagonally connected Tumkur rd with Hosur rd (& EC), but they opted to take it to Jayanagar & Kanakapura rd based on older needs & surveys that had pointed in that direction then.

Thus, the N-S route is entirely on the western side alone & has overlooked the new realities. Also, they have gone ahead with BETL hastily & now realize that a route cannot be put up along Hosur road.

I presume they are now preventing such errors by evaluating all needs & then chalking out a complete road map for Metro & Mono routes before finalizing or taking any decisions.

b)  Airport road is the best option to connect Domlur, Marathalli, Whitefield & other areas inbetween (Austin town, Vimanapura, HAL, etc) to the city. There is an army pocket, but this is confined to less than 2km along the route.

c)  The image posted by blrsri was the Mono proposal that included the CTTP recommended routes for Metro (in red), but I understand CTTP routes for metro are not strictly being followed (It is being used only as a reference source).

d)  I could not access the link you provided - but I remember I had posted a similar suggestion earlier (ie. via Cant rly stn, Shivaji Nagar, Comml st, Residency rd, Shanti Nagar, Dairy circle / Hosur road). That image (& related post) is missing now on praja - probably got deleted during upgrade/s.

e)  The whole area upto Whitefield is now developed & pressures are increasing all along the OMR approach as well as along the old airport rd approach. Thus, I doubt if a "Whitefield circuit" such as the LRT circuits in remote areas in Singapore will work as loads will increase considerably since there will be commuters to the city in very large numbers in the years to come.

f)  Re. bus lanes - I agree & have been repeatedly suggesting this, but with many obstacles such as narrow road widths, BETL, etc., I think the idea has been scuttled. To make a BRT system work in India is also very challenging since intrusion /pilferage is rampant & enforcement is also very poor.

g)  Monorail (with private investments) may be the only answer to areas which have narrow street widths & where quick PT connections are necessary. Many Indian cities are beginning to realize this & construction of the first mono system has already begun in Mumbai.

n's picture

Follow up

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Thanks for the responses.

The metro costs the highest, followed by mono. Increasing (even by a great number) the number of buses is a better idea until they get saturated enough for a mono. If BETL is not crowded enough, buses can be allowed on BETL. If it gets crowded, traffic on Hosur road reduces where more buses can ply.

2) was with respect to earlier discussions regarding lack of coordination. BMRC should be forced to interact with on-ground (read BMTC) reality - DMRC (from Delhi) couldn't be expected to nor did any local interaction (AFAIK) for Phase I. As mentioned above, it is much cheaper and very much flexible to augment feeder buses if roads permit than do a mono or metro. Once built, mono or metro cannot be withdrawn or the cost recovered due to dip or cycles in demand.

Based on all the soil-testing now ...

That is the 2nd time this was mentioned - any links? Usually soil testing is done along a given alignment (costs money to do at different locations). I reiterate - soil should not be the important factor in governing an alignment.

srkulhalli's picture

Mono on ORR

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Naveen, could not read the map. But I agree this is absolutely criticaly - for projects costing tens of thousands of crores, spending even 10 crores on getting the routing right is well worth it.  Dont think that is happening - anyways it is well worth anybodys time who is putting effort on it.

When I saw the geodesisc proposal, I was a little surprised that they do not include the ORR. On the ORR, especially on the Sarjapur road side, there are soo many IT parks coming up - if you look at the existing and planned parks, it looks like  it is going to be as much as populated as ITPL.

They also seem to flirt with the Metro a little too much on teh western side - these are probably better dealt with by feeder bus services to the METRO.

Have you tried contacting Geodesic -  once when we met they were very open to meet up with Praja folks


Naveen's picture

Download Map

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Download a high resolution copy of the suggestions for metro /mono map with this link

Vasanth's picture

Hebbal to Devanahalli

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Well, one more requirement is to have a mono / metro till Hebbal ASAP. From Hebbal, a frequent BRT link  to Devanahalli would serve the peak hour travel to Devanahalli.

As per my experience, I have seen International Flyers prefer taxis because of heavy suitcases. Even if a High Speed Rail is available, they cannot change over. International flights run 99% during night times. Also, when they are investing tens of thousands on Airfare, they don't mind spending extra 600-700 rupees for Taxi. During late night hours, within 1 hour we can reach Airport from the other part of city.

During Peak Hours from 8AM - 9PM, most of the passengers are domestic travellers. They get struck in traffic jams. If travelling with personal expenses, they have to invest huge amount on Taxis. They prefer to take Vayu Vajras. Also they have less luggage compared to International Travellers.

 Somehow the routing and the pricing is not good. Either in Taxi / Vayu Vajra, they are struck in traffic and chances of loosing the flight is more. So, if the Mono / 2nd phase Metro is quickly done upto Hebbal where they can interchange with BRT routes or even normal routes, it will be quiet convenient especially for Domestic Passengers. This is an easy alternative to HSRL.

blrsri's picture

why international fly midnight?

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 Intersting point you explain here brings up an important question why international flights prefer midnight?

Lemme see..flying west is always done via Europe and connecting flights are schduled from CDG/Frankfurt/Heathrow towards US in the day it requires that we start at unearthly hours to get in time for some one elses convinience!

Maybe direct flights to the US will avoid this..any more thoughts ppl?

Also your analogy on international flyers using cabs/cars is perfect..guess this will be a distractor of HSRL!

Naveen's picture

Fast Connection to Airport Necessary

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Vasanth - I dont buy your argument. See the lists below for present departures during 'Peak' & 'Off-Peak'. This is as of today, but what happens in the future is anyones guess. One thing is sure - the airport will function throughout the day & a quick means of tranport, other than taxis is necessary round the clock.

Peak Hour Departures :
1030: Bangkok (Thai Airways)
1300 or 1500: Colombo (Kingfisher)
1005 or 2115: Colombo (SriLankan Airways)
1025 & 1830: Dubai (Emirates)
1210: Dubai (Indian)
1330: Jeddah (Saudi Airlines)
1145: London (Kingfisher)
1030: Male (Indian)
1840: Muscat (Indian)
1620: Muscat (Oman Air)
2300: Singapore (Tiger Airways)
2305: Singapore (Singapore Airlines)

Off-Peak Departures :
0400 - Gulf Air (Bahrain)
0030 - Thai Airways (Bangkok)
0415 - Emirates (Dubai)
0210 - Lufthansa (Frankfurt)
0220 - Dragon Air (Hongkong)
0055 - Malaysian (Kuala Lumpur)
0650 - British Airways (London)
0555 - Air Mauritius (Mauritius)
0620 - Oman Air (Muscat)
0140 - Air France (Paris)
0455 - Air Arabia (Sharjah)
0005 - Indian (Singapore)

blrsri's picture

Distance from city matters?

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Europe may not be a good comprison to ground realities in India because of population and other situations..btw I was seeing the Heathrow dedicated train..found this is running on already existing tracks(at grade)  looks like it was just an upgrade of the train and line..

Why has US not done any dedicated trains at all? Afterall they have many busy airports!

NY express is not really a dedicated only connects passengers to other metro train stations only and not to Manhattan or anything!

Asian cities are more populous..better to compare with Blr..

However Narita is 57.5 Kms and KLIA is 50+ from city centres..and I have travelled to KL thru KLIA and its almost undeveloped area from the airport to I guess direct non stop trains work there..

Why havent the other asian majors like BKK,Jakarta,Seoul done anything similar?

idontspam's picture

Distance is the criteria

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Yes it is ultimately distance of the airport fromt the city. We have taken the advantage of building a greenfield airport which is not a borrowed one and will have lot of headroom to grow in the future. The bottomline is how near to the city you want this airport to feel.

Who wants reduced commute times to the airport? Its mostly those who value time, predominantly business travellers. Business could be large and small, short trip travellers. With just 2% of the worldwide air traffic being addressed by the airlline industry in India there is a lot of headroom to grow, both on the air traffic and GDP side. Lot more small entreprenuership yet to come in the next 40 years.This is an investment in our growth.

I personally use the arlanda express in stockholm and find it extremely comfortable. I know the times it leaves (exactly on time) and the time it takes, exactly 20 mins. I always use it and never a taxi. It costs me half the taxi fare. 

About why other asian cities are not using it. I dont think BKK and Jakarta are thinking public transport. We know they grew like us, modelled after the automobile pattern. I dont know the airport distances in these cities which is key for faster access. It makes more sense to have these trains in populated countries like India and China than any european city. The future is here not anywhere else.

Ultimately I wont call this mass transport I would call it a business enabler and a value add to the airport. It is not earth shatteringly urgent but if you want to lay the foundation for the economy of Bangalore for the next 50 years it will be a good investment. It will only get more difficult and expensive as time goes. 

I really expect to see a train transport hub near the airport with links to the IR lines both cargo and passenger, which will take cargo lines from whitefield, metro for the passenger traffic serving the business coming up there and also HSRL as a business enabler to the airport from the CBD and other areas. I only wish we spent some extra money and took HSRL underground from ORR upto minsk.

Also wanted to add the dependency on IR. There is only so much IR will do for region specific services including sharing their tracks for regional services. Being a central organization they will prefer interstate connectivity which if left to states will fall apart. So it is in our interest to develop regional rail systems intra state including tracks. These will even require legislative changes deviations from archiac tramway acts etc, but there isnt another way we will get what we need. There are other threads where I have epxressed this view.

Naveen's picture

Metro Ph-2 abt 180km @ 28k crores

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Bangalore Metro Ph-2 is to be about 180km (appx 30km underground) at 28k crores, as per this report.

vinod_shankar's picture

the cost seems to be underestimate

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For present metro of 42 km cost is around 8k crores, so in ratio it should cost atleast 36k crores at today's cost.  The cost may be much higher if inflation is taking into consideration.  Anyway lets wait for the DPR for the estimates.


Naveen's picture

Construction costs will reduce

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I think with BEML getting into manufacture of coaches & with companies like Bombardier establishing manufacturing facilities in India + better know how & possibility to source items locally, construction costs for metros will certainly come down.

Srivatsava's picture

A larger mono rail component

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Cost per km may be lower in the phase 2, mainly because there is a large mono rail component in phase 2. Monorail would cost significantly lesser than Metro.

I heard that the phase 2 would be about 120 km. If indeed 180 km is correct, expect over 60-80km of Monorail in this estimate.


-Srivatsava V

Naveen's picture

Monorail ?

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there is a large mono rail component in phase 2

Any source/s ?

n's picture


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Monorail suggestions probably need to be forwarded to Bangalore Airport Rail Link Ltd. per pages 5 and 6 of this report. Couldn't find their website or contact information (though they are supposed to be "consortium" of BIAL and BMRCL).  A better bet may be Dr. (Prof) K. V. Raju (contact info at bottom of page).  It is confusing why BIAL needs to be involved at this stage (esp. for mono for the rest of the city, BIAL won't have good inputs); I suspect it is a delaying tactic for reasons unknown.

BTW, thanks for the higher resolution map. Haven't pixel-peeped yet; will do it sometime soon (motto: if authorities decide to listen, then "waste" time :-) )

Naveen's picture

Re. Monorail

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N :

BMRC had responded & advised to forward the suggestions to UDD /Infrastructure dept.. Accordingly, it has been posted to them, but no response so far.

I think BARL may just be a temporary arrangement to look into Monorail since BMRC is busy with construction, etc.

I am unable to open the link for Prof.Raju's contact/s. Could you please post it here - I can forward a copy to him too.

n's picture


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Prof. Raju's contact information:

The "isec" site is not not working now (confirmed info below from cached "isec" site). The information from another site (http://www.saneinetwork.n...):

Professor and Head
Center for Ecological Economics and Natural Resources
Institute for Social and Economic Change
Nagarabhavi, Bangalore-560072, India
(O) Ph: +91-80-23217013 (last two 12 on cached "isec" site), 23215468, Fax: +91-80-23217008
(R) Ph: +91-80-23214998, mobile: 98454-15305

May be a good idea to also copy Geodesic. What happened to their planned public interaction

Naveen's picture

Contact - Thanks

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Many thanks & the suggestions have been forwarded to Prof.Raju's email/s.

Naveen's picture

ORR - Road Widening Opposed

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Residents oppose ORR road-widening :

BBMP is planning to widen ORR from Silkboard to Mysore road (14.5km). I wonder why they can't think of mass transit, such as a monorail instead of road-widening.

Such moves will only attract more polluting road traffic, as we have been seeing all these years.

Naveen's picture

Monorail - Abide to decide

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According to this report in TOI today, a 60-km plan for monorail has been placed before Abide by the infrastructure dept. No decisions have been taken yet.

Traffic jams will continue to increase due to flyover & metro construction !

Naveen's picture

A blessing in disguise

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This report in TOI today states :

Bangalore's road network is 8.4% of built-up area. Mumbai has 16%, Delhi 20%. Desired network is 20%-25%.

Road density is 1,044 km per 100 sqkm, 1.03 km per 1,000 people, 2.56 km per 1,000 vehicles.
In Delhi, road density is 2,090 km per 100 sqkm, 2.24 per 1,000 people, 5.92 per 1,000 vehicles.

All the more reason why we should have more of mass transits.

I think that with environmental concerns & oil resources getting more scarce, this is perhaps a blessing in disguise, & will encourage people to travel by PT more.

n's picture

Desired road network?

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20-25% is for what class of vehicles? Defined by whom? This (wild guess by me) looks like a copy/paste from Western countries' manual that is defined for cars and bigger four wheelers only and not for a heterogenous traffic system like ours with a majority of two-wheelers (atleast in Bengaluru). Our road network is inadequate but comparisons should be apples to apples. Agree completely that PT is the way to go than try to convert into a car-based system.

Naveen's picture

Areas for roads

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Agree with you - even I find it hard to accept 20-25% as a benchmark for Indian cities & doubt if mumbai has the claimed 16%.

Someone from DULT may have stated this, referring to some defined western standard in land plans & it is likely that it is being used here also as a sort of goalpost.

In reality, Indian streets must have a percentage earmarked for pedestrians since their volumes are the highest on streets !

Further, as you rightly point out, traffic is pre-dominantly 2-wheeler oriented (since incomes are much lower), with cars a distant second amongst private modes. Thus, there is a definite anomaly when compared with western conditions.

n's picture

ABIDe meeting on monorail

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Pages 1-4 at http://www.abidebengaluru.... Interesting comments on the cost-benefit comparison:
Syed Zameer Pasha, MD BMTC - "Monorail ... will not offer the same volume"
N Sivasailam, MD BMRCL - "monorail on corridors will limit your option... not a flexible system like the bus"
Been saying the same thing - best to increase bus routes (may be even increase autos/taxis) than construct monorail. Let's see if the committee decides the same.
Other interesting thing mentioned by MD BMRCL - "... with the help of BMTC, which is to work as a feeder system, both metro and BMTC are working to achieve this". Wish they had elaborated a lot more on that crucial aspect of seamless, effortless transfer between different modes.

Naveen's picture

Abide meeting - Going nowhere ?

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N - Thanks for posting this. However, my observations are as follows :

1) Private investments for Monorail are available as party/s have expressed interest. Some subsidy & other costs will accrue to the city, no doubt, but these are manageable as they will be spread over a long period.

2) If we do not connect dense corridors & areas on which elevated Metro alignment/s & construction are difficult, the Metro will have to go underground & this will cost much more than Monorail, not to mention lack of flexibility in planning Metro routes (see item-4 below).

3) Generally, if BRT is not possible, installing a rail-based mass-transit is much better than thinking in terms of street based buses operating in mixed traffic, though much cheaper, since with increase in traffic, they will become even more inefficient & force much larger numbers of people to resort to private vehicles.

4) Planning routes for Metro, with 6 coaches & longer turning radius, is not as easy as doing the same for Monorail, particularly for a city like Bangalore with narrow roads. Planning Metro alignments to connect most, if not all the dense /CBD areas therefore becomes very difficult, even if budget/s permit underground construction.

5) Last - & certainly not the least important aspect, oil is going to become more & more scarce in the future & operating all forms of street based transport that consume more fuel on a per person basis, will become much more expensive than electric trains or Monorail.


For comparison, Guangzhou is a similar sized city that already has about 90km of Metro - another 183km is under construction, most of the Metro routes would be underground. Since the roads are very wide, they have chosen BRT as another mode, but we cannot do this in Bangalore other than for ORR. Monorail is perhaps a choice.


n's picture

Monorail cons

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Counter observations (in the spirit of the debate):
1) If the private investment goes bust, some people lose money that eventually trickles down to the taxpayers. A little more important, the aesthetics of the area where the mono is built is forever lost unless expensive demolition/remediation is undertaken. So, monorail needs a lot of thought. Metro being most expensive is built after a lot of thought (so lesser chances of ghost rails except in New York - but then when did US think seriously about wastage? ;-)).
2) The metro can go higher (cheaper than under). Mono also disrupts dense corridors in Bengaluru (think sight blockages, shadow(y?) :-) regions etc.). No disputes on the footprint.
3) Bus frequency/comfort/seamlessness has to increase proportionately. Beyond a certain level (with stabilization in demand, i.e., more permanent residences) the jump can be made to metro with an efficient bus feeder system.
4) Agree.
5) Certainly - if you saw my additions to the sustainable road transportation, one of the most important suggestions was to convert buses to natural gas. Before you say that is also finite, the eventual goal is to go solar. Now, solar production consumes more than it gives .... ;-)
Worldwide, monorail is not as well proven and mature as metro. There ought to be very good reasons for engineers worldwide to not use the system widely. The passenger capacity is lower and probably leads to higher cost per capita. Also, wiki articles suggest higher cost for switching equipment. Having two modes (bus, metro/train) leads to lesser diversity in terms of maintenance and costs.
Always a pleasure to respond to and discuss with well researched, well thought-out observations.

Naveen's picture

Mass Transits - No firm blueprint yet ?

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Recent media reports seem to suggest that BSY's govt is moving on Monorail, extension of Metro routes (phase-2) & HSRL - but, it isn't clear at all as to what the plan is (if indeed there is one) to finally result in a well-knit, integrated system that would allow one to travel from any part of the city to any other, particularly covering the more dense travel routes.

Click here for a report from TOI, & here for the DH report.

For Metro, both reports quote the same extensions for phase-1 lines as follows :
Hesarghatta to Madavara - 4.02 km; (upto International Exhibition center)
Puttenahalli to Anjanapura - 6.79 km; (upto PRR along Kanakapura road)
Mysore Road to Kengeri - 7.70 km; (along Mysore road)
Byappanahalli to ITPL - 11.60 km (via Hoodi junction)

In addition, one new Metro line has been quoted:  IIMB to Nagavara - 21.10 km. Thus, the second East-West line appears to have been dropped.



Both news reports repeat the Monorail routes that had been proposed in CTTP-2007, viz.

Hebbal to JP Nagar - 34km (along ORR)
PRR to Toll Gate along Magadi Road - 9km
Kathriguppe Road to National College - 5km
Hosur Road to Bannerghatta Road - 15km
TOTAL:  60km appx.

The TOI report also quotes Scomi's proposed routes for Monorail with a few changes - the amended routes quoted are as follows :

Majestic - Hudson Circle - Wilson Garden - Dairy Circle - Agaram Lake — 14.2km;
Wilson Garden - Banashankari - Mysore Road - Majestic — 15.3km;
Majestic - Rajajinagar - Basaveshwaranagar - Mahalaskshmi Layout - Yeshwanthpur - Malleswaram - Sadashivanagar - High Grounds — 15 km;
Cantonment - Indiranagar - Domlur - Ejipura - Koramangala — 14.6 km.
TOTAL:  59km appx.


It is of course not necessary to execute both Monorail proposals in full since there would be numerous overlaps & duplication. Also, the project costs quoted are 8400 crores, which translates to only 60km at 140 crores per km.

Thus, it appears that the stalemate will continue with no firm plans in place - routes appear to be undecided /not finalized yet. This press conference appears to be merely preparatory work for the Global Investors Meet called by the state govt & based on the response then, further action might or might not be taken. In short, the commuter will have to continue waiting, I guess !

idontspam's picture

but, it isn't clear at all as

212 users have liked.

but, it isn't clear at all as to what the plan is (if indeed there is one) to finally result in a well-knit, integrated system that would allow one to travel from any part of the city to any other,

Dream on! We are a superpower who still cant paint lanes on roads or lay 1.5mtr wide obstuction free footpaths. 

Vasanth's picture

Kattriguppe - ITPL route via Airport road still not clear

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 Earlier, it was reported that there will be a Metro line from Kattriguppe - Bank Colony - Srinagar KR Hospital - Hanumanthnagar - Chamarajpet - JC Road - Richmod - Airport Road - KRPuram- ITPL. Also, soil testing was done along this corridor. Nothing was mentioned in this press meet about this route.

Now they are reporting of a mono route from Kattriguppe to National college circle on Kattriguppe Main Road to connect to Metro at National College Circle. These two metro-mono routes are just 1 kms apart approximately and overlap on Bull Temple Road.

This is a total confusion. Why do these bureaucrats make unnecessary statements to press without being clear themselves.

 Also, extension of Metro to Kengeri is a waste of public money and duplication of effort. Instead, commuter rail on existing route with integration with Metro at Nayandahalli would have been a good decision.


Naveen's picture

Mass Transits - Mass Confusion!

214 users have liked.

We are a superpower who still cant paint lanes on roads or lay 1.5mtr wide obstuction free footpaths.

This is a total confusion. Why do these bureaucrats make unnecessary statements to press without being clear themselves.

Agree wholly - BMRC appears to be at the mercy of UDD which is committed to CTTP recommendations & is "awaiting clearance" from BSY's govt, which is trying to convince ABIDe to clear investments that probably bring in the best into party coffers, whilst ABIDe has different ideas & is against HSRL, etc. etc. - this drama is repeated again & again with no end in sight !

If you look at Delhi's, Mumbai's or even Chennai's or Hyderabad's plans for their Mass transport proposals, all routes have been identified long back & frozen, & they are already on with construction or are raising finances wherever PPP projects are involved (Mumbai & Hyderabad), or progressing well with construction (Delhi & Chennai).

Here, in sharp contrast, the same multitude of proposals are "announced" each time by politicians whenever elections fall due with empty promises - the press is only adding fuel to this "fire" & doesn't think it necessary at all to criticize this fiasco either.

This report in TOI sums it all - there appears to be no co-ordination whatsoever even when billions worth of projects are being considered. Single valued outcomes appear to be the way ahead when it comes to transport planning since each transport body appears to be working on it's own.


extension of Metro to Kengeri is a waste of public money and duplication of effort. Instead, commuter rail on existing route with integration with Metro at Nayandahalli would have been a good decision.

Vasanth - where is the space, both for Metro viaduct & Metro station & also for wider road approach to Nayandahalli station ? It would be best to extend Metro to Kengeri along Mysore road itself to avoid a transfer & ensuing delays, & higher travel costs.

Naveen's picture

Monorail along two corridors ?

210 users have liked.

Today's TOI carries a tender invitation by IDD for Monorail DPR - click here for a copy of the ad.

srinidhi's picture

global investors meet driven..

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As you can see its an announcement which is being done during the inauguration of the global investors meet..more to garner huge  investments/loans..the govt seems to be getting cunningly smarter in such schemes..

Never seen a tender announcement for a DPR for metro..dmrcl was selected default dunno how..though its another question how eligible they were to draw out the DPR when they do not understand our city in any way! 

Btw villages were deprived of electricity during bbmp polls and now blr deprived of electricity cos zp polls..all schemes only! But people will not see thru this!

Naveen's picture

Monorail bids - 16-Aug-10

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As per this announcement, Monorail bids will be opened on 16-08-2010.

idontspam's picture


193 users have liked.

 Monorail bids will be opened on 16-08-2010

This is the response to the DPR RFP not the build itself. comment guidelines

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