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Yaara Metro ?

Yaara Metro ?

  • The Metro will be ready 3 years from now.
  • It will 5 Lakh passengers, just 4 % of the population of Greater Bangalore in 2012.
  • Traffic congestion will be far worse, because only a very small part of Bangalore is going to use the Metro.
  • Traffic is doubling every 5 years, and in 2012 our traffic population may be close to 50 Lakhs.
  • 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.
  • The city’s aesthetics will be largely ruined. Some of the city's best landmarks are going to vanish.
  • Scores of businesses and homes are going to be destroyed.
  • Air pollution will be far worse than it is now - traffic .
  • While the Metro is getting built, some of the key roads are going to be blocked.
  • To expand the Metro to the whole city, there will be continuous construction for the next 50 to 100 years.
  • Many (most?) of us will suffer the construction, but will not be alive to see its final fruit.
  • Is the Metro really going to solve the city's problem ?

For a full analysis, see the document at this link.

Yaara Metro
View more documents from das_gv.

  [Embeded the document directly on Praja -Moderator]


Public Agenda's picture

Yaara Metro?

will keep themselves seeing the flyovers, double-decker roads and most cars in gridlock on all the roads

We can already see how they have quietened down.

Yaardu infrastrcuture

Nammadu illa 

s_yajaman's picture

@Das : And what is the alternative?

What is your proposal?  We build more roads and get more cars on the roads? 

Or we get people to ride cycles.  All for it, but is it going to happen?



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

das's picture

Alternative is Buses

Alternative is Buses. See the full analysis in the document (link at the bottom of the post).

Also see this presentation :


idontspam's picture

Fallacy repackaged

The fallacy in the bus VS metro argument is the "VS" in between. It is NOT an either/or as the fight is always made out to be. It is a Metro AND bus AND other-forms-of-PT-conviniently-assumed-dont-exist. Why does a person have to live within a kilometer of the station? Why isnt there a feeder bus which can drop people till the station?.

Why is it assumed that the Metro is the only form of train that can exist? Here is an alternative that arguably can work like the BRT and can carry more people at surface grade without dedicated stations and can be deployed faster.

Remember a Train overhead complements the traffic on the road and carries atleast 13 times more people than a bus ever can.  It is a net addition to road bandwidth. 

The only thing I can agree on is just 33 km of trains is too little too late. Other train formats like CRS, Light rail, Mono etc need to start parellely. It is a mistake to rely on just the Bus service especially as it exists now.

Middle class ransom

I was reading this article by Gautam Bhatia:

An excerpt from that article:

"To say that the Indian middle class is pampered and spoilt is to make a statement of little value. Throughout the world, it is no secret that the middle class determines the quality of urban life. Its ability to buy or rent space, its capacity for consumption, its requirements for offices, schools, parks, recreation, shopping, and indeed, its needs for transportation, all set the tone for the city. Yet there is little in the actions of the Indian middle class that shows concern for citizens that don’t belong to it. It uses the city on its own terms, with a selfish emphasis on convenience, requiring unencumbered access to shopping, insisting on alighting and parking only at doorsteps, waging continual territorial wars over private space, and usurping all that belongs in the public realm. It grabs sidewalks, seizes airspace, cantilevers illegally and reclaims all that belongs to others for its own purposes. However minuscule a minority, the middle class has the power to hold the city to ransom. And it does." 

The opposers of Namma Metro - like Mr Das who started this thread ostensibly come from the coeterie of CMH Road Traders or MKK Road Traders and belong to that nattering middle class mentioned by Mr Gautam Bhatia above.

Hole in the wall shops, shops that eat up all the cities sidewalks, throw garbage all around, park whenever or where-ever they want.... it is precisely this middle class which is becoming a burden on our cities and the nation's resources!

Ridiculous report

In the last page, the author Mr Das claims that Metro will be more environmentally and "visually" damaging compared to BRT.

What a ridiculous statement! Metro does not emit an single gram of carbondioxide while it is unreasonable to expect our BMTC to change to hybrid buses!

The only plausible criticism the author levels is the problem of last mile connectivity. This is where BMTC, BMRC will both have to play a role in tandem.

Overall, just a frustrated shopkeeper's rant against the metro! Best left discarded. 

Vasanth's picture

Cadambi Sir - Please don't point Middle Class

Middle Class solely should not be pointed out , upper class on the other hand is damaging the city roads with huge cars and SUVs and contributing to the traffic. Upper class always want people to use Public Transport, so that traffic is less and they drive their cars freely.

Middle class on the other hand are using buses / 2 wheelers /small cars. It is the overpopulation of Bangalore which is causing the obstruction and not the debate of lower / middle / upper class.

Ofcourse CMH road owners are not middle class. They don't know the benefits a Metro could bring in. I hate to drive to CMH road on the other hand, if Metro is there I can go and shop there.

Argument based on poor men, middle class and upperclass is not in the right direction, it will lead to mean thinking. We should never think in those mean directions while we are trying to do something constructively through Praja. The writer of the article pointed in the link is also not thinking in the right direction and we should not get influenced by such articles. Broader  thinking is needed which affects all and not a narrow minded one pointing to the other people as the main cause.

Also please note that any person can be in any class, a rich guy tommorrow may become poor man and a poor guy can become rich. Economy of India improved because of increased purchasing power of middle class.

Metro is the treatment for the current traffic disease. Why the treatment itself should be considered as disease?

Thinking of the author of this thread is not in the right direction since he must have been affected in someway by Metro. Recently I saw an interview in TV9 channel who interviews whoever they get who was telling that Metro should go in outskirts of the city and not within the city. That person was loosing his house on KR Road.

Naveen's picture

Metro & Bus are Complementary


The Metro Ph-1 for Bangalore is only a start towards an effort to reduce congestion & is a substantial addition, perhaps only along certain routes at the beginning to supplement bus services & other PT services (such as Monorail that might also come up).

In no large city has a single system been able to cater to all transportation needs, be these street-based bus services, Metro, Light rail or Monorail. All modes work in tendem & assist in reducing dependence on private vehicles & to provide conveniences to all types of commuters.

Bangalore Metro has been extended to about 42 km (it is not 33 km now as stated in the presentation/s above).

Even if BRT were introduced, Metro & Monorail & ordinary buses operating with mixed traffic would still have a role to play in the city's transportation scene.

As suggested in the presentations above, it will be quite impossible for buses alone to cater to all the city's needs since they have already become inefficient with more & more traffic - no large metropolis depends only on buses for it's needs, & Bangalore is no exception.

Japan sanctions soft loan for Delhi Metro Phase 2

If the Japanese sponsors of Delhi Metro were not convinced of it's economic viability, then they would not sponsor subsequent phases.

The fact that they did is proof enough that Delhi Metro is economically successfull.

In such a case, i am sure Bangalore Metro, which targets 50% and over of the commuters daily, would be quite successfull.

JBIC is also funding the Bangalore Metro.

It is just hogwash that Metro will not be successfull in Bangalore. It is these car loving and bus hating people who want the metro out. 

Middle class apathy

Vasanth avare,

It is quite well acknowledged that the apathy of the Indian Middle Class and it's holier than thou attitude is what is blocking order and governance:

"Pavan Varma, the director-general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, also thinks that in at least one respect the middle class of his own country behaves more like members of its elite than as a distinctive group of its own. Both, he says, have similar attitudes to the poor. Traditionally, the middle class has supported meritocracy and upward mobility, more than the elite has done. Yet, according to Mr Varma, the Indian middle class shows little inclination to fight the corruption, bad governance and incompetence that hold back the poor and block upward mobility through education. Unlike its peers in other emerging countries, it has largely given up on public education, paying for private schools for its own children." 

It is this same middle class that is only bothered about fuel subsidies, does not want vehicle renewal charges, hates the BRT, does not want increase in prices of electricity, steals electricity (domestic consumers account for most of the power theft, fyi) and drives as and when they want and how they want.

Unless there is recognition of this problem, which is a result of competitive populism of Indian polity, we are headed towards ecological disaster in trying to pander to this class.

Take for example electricity. Currently, the cheapest sources of electricity is thermal (coal). But that comes at a huge cost to the environment. If India encourages other options like nuclear, solar, wind, hydel, biomass and non-carbon sources, it will result in a slight increase in electricity tarrifs.

The middle class, so used to stealing power, opposes this tooth and nail.

Opposition to the JUSCO - Mysore deal is one of the manifestations of middle class greed.

silkboard's picture

few non-constructive thoughts there

Did not expect this from Mr Das. You certainly make some valid points, but this way of putting forward arguments may not get us much 'cooperation'. Did you forget to paste the rest of your post? What is the suggestion, and the next steps? More dharnas, and placard holding?

First of all:

"Many (most?) of us will suffer the construction, but will not be alive to see its final fruit."

That logic is no good, it applies to us consuming less water and fossil fuels etc as well.

  • The summary (main post) paints a picture of destruction and devastation all around the city, and yet you say it will touch only a small percentage of city's population. Both can certainly not be true.
  • There will be jams everywhere during construction time, yes. But for that, we got to make sure BMRCL floats tender like this one (diversion plan around Vidha Soudha) before embarking on major construction.
  • If only a small part of the city is going to use the Metro, suggest how to increase the usage.
  • If its going to take 50 years, suggest how to increase the pace.
  • Or, if you are suggesting Metro should stop all construction right now, suggest how much wastage that cancellation would entail, and how will we recoup that cost.

At the end of it, it will turn out to be a mixture of multiple modes. Transportation is being designed by the population patterns today, but soon, transportation will shape the population patterns of the city. You and I will move to live near 335E, 319C, and 356J, or near Yeswantpur Metro, or near Kanakapura Mono, or near Sarjapur Road Railway station :)

Yes, the Metro is not perfect, but the lessons from Metro are

  • We, the citizens should stay awake, and get into analyzing these projects early. Not way late in the game when authorities can' neither roll back, nor continue (First Airport, now Metro)
  • If Metro routes were picked based on a traffic study, same should be used to design other Bus/Mono/LRT etc corridors. Otherwise, when all will be said and done, things will not fit.

Why this vs that, why Mr Das? Its time to be constructive. Shyam doesn't have to die for Ram to live.

One can shred any logic or project to pieces because examples of all types are abundant. London buses don't make money, not even today. Perhaps Bogota does.

By attacking from every corner possible (people, netas, media), we just don't let anyone work here. First set of arguments from most activists' are almost always negative toned. No wonder most activists are avoided by many local civic bodies.

The days of starting every conversation of involvement with governance with a "No" (that's an Indian habit perhaps) has not taken us anywhere. It neither gets the masses involved in activism, nor gets the authorities excited. Days of "my idea is the best" are history. Its time for our ideas, careful evaluation early in the game, and patience.

das's picture

Would appreciate a proper analysis in reply to mine

See the last section of my document, where I say this:


The final verdict on the Delhi Metro today is : “It's beautiful, very clean, just like the metros abroad”. Nobody says ”It has reduced the traffic, reduced pollution, reduced commute time and cost for the WHOLE of Delhi.” Delhi's traffic congestion remains, its pollution levels are increasing, the government is trying out alternatives like the BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) system.

Trains can be the most efficient way of carrying people around, in terms of space usage, pollution and cost. However, there are trains and trains, and the big questions are:

Can we afford a Metro ?

  1. Is it too late to think of a train system now – should we have done this 100 years ago, like London or Paris ?
  2. Is the over-ground system going to destroy the city, should it be underground instead ?
  3. Why do richer countries than India think the Metro is unaffordable and opt for bus systems instead?
  4. There are close to 100 cities worldwide that have implemented or are implementing bus based systems.
  5. Why aren't we thinking holistically of a transport system that is a mix of vehicles instead of just the Metro, with the rest as an afterthought ? Metro as 'A system' meshing with the rest, rather than 'THE system' ?

In an already existing city, transportation must be designed by the existing population patterns.
If you're building a brand new city, you can design the transportation and the population pattern will evolve around it.
Bangalore is an existing city.

Definitions of 'Activism' and 'Activist'
Activism : Intentional action to bring about social or political change.
Activist : An Active, vigorous advocate of a cause.
These are actually terms of high praise, let's not use them as insults.

You're wrong about the Indian habit. The problem is that we are too conformist, have too much respect for authority, are scared to question, and scared to think differently.

According to your argument, questioning is taboo. If someone is doing something, everyone should just go along with it, even if they think it is wrong. Which implies that they should not think. That's the definition of a Dictatorship, and India is definitley not one.

There are techincal arguments for the bus, and there are arguments for the Metro. The point is that I have presented a studied analysis of the pros and cons. My document is not a bunch of rants about personalities or questioning people's motives. I would appreciate an equally thorough techno-commercial analysis refuting my arguments, point  by point.

silkboard's picture

are you sure?

"we are too conformist, have too much respect for authority"

Yes, we see this in action on our city roads, every hour every day :)

Anyway, will get back with an analytical reply if I can manage one. I don't claim any expertise, am only a hobbyist, with no ready bank of data to refute or support arguments, but I will try.

Appreciate your detailed response and apologies for getting into needless philosophical arguments. If you had not written the post (not the presentation) in "Mid Day" or "Bangalore Mirror" style, I wouldn't have reacted like that.


das's picture

Thanks for the apology

"Mid Day" or "Bangalore Mirror" style - perceptive of you to have noticed.
The document IS intended to be an article for a newspaper, and I wanted to lighten the tedium of the mass of numbers and statistics. Even with the pictures and dividing into points I wonder how many people have the patience to wade through it. Even though I've written it, I myself barely have the patience :)

Thanks for the apology. Renews my faith in the world (seriously).

silkboard's picture

Praja is different

I can tell you Mr Das, most people on this site want the boring stats and analytical viewpoints. Make it as geeky as you can, and put as much detail as you can. Bring it on.

And never take the attacks or criticism to heart. The point is to promote analytical debates, and on an open forum, because then, you get to hear everyone's arguments.


Indians confirmist??

Mr Das,

Indians, from past to present are NOT confirmist kind. It flies against common sense to suggest that such a diverse land is confirmist. Perhaps there ia common thread - but that thread has millions of other threads attached to it of different shapes and sizes.

I'm reminded of an observation by Qadi Sai'd Al Andalusi, the great Islamic scholar of the 11th century, who observed that Indians are more free and quite independent and the Chinese are more likely to follow what their government or leaders decide for them.

Amazing na, what was observed in the 11th century is even true today in the 21st century! ;-) 

Cars occupy more space

Mr Das,

Lets take the delhi metro for example. About 800,000 people ride the delhi metro every day.

It is also universally acknowledged that cars occupy 70% of the available road capacity, but cater to only 10% of the commuters.

Isn't it then common sense that the Delhi Metro has replaced the need for many cars and hence precious road space?

Imagine the effects Namma Metro will have in Bangalore if it manages to reduce car usage!

There is no need for ppt presentations - lets argue based on facts and not conjectures as you suggest. 

asj's picture


Thought provoking discussion.

Also I got an e-mail sent to me sharing this

Home page (could not figure out who is behind this initiative - but looks useful).

About Delhi metro - 800k riders, I am not sure where they come from, were they all using cars before? How many moved from buses to trains? One also needs to balance this with number of vehicle registrations each year in Delhi, has that rate declined?


blrsri's picture

how abt monorail..

we are just talking here of a criss crossing metro..meeting at Majestic..dunno why majestic!

how aout monorail?

Scomi/Geodesic has grand plans for bangalore in order of coverage..this will be the cleaner solution for Bangalore! 

Das, please read abt the monorail plans on Praja could give you hope!

Vehicle ownership / usage

In a booming economy, vehicle ownership is going to be the norm. We cannot stop that, for a production of a single vehicle means creations of lots of jobs nationwide.

What we can do, atleast w.r.t the context of New Delhi is to *disincentivise* private vehicle usage. This means, having lesser number of parking spots, and having high parking charges in existing parking spots, high fines for traffic offenses, high renewable charges on vehicle registration.

There should be certificates of entitlement. For example, if a home has parking space for one car, there should be a COE for one car only. Parking of private cars on streets should be paid all the time and not be made free of cost.

Car ownership norms and strictures can be relaxed in suburban areas and Tier II and Tier III towns and so on. 

Naveen's picture

Identify The Real problem First


One more point that has been missed out is the space on the streets for operation of BRT or prioritized buses - your observations do not touch upon this.

In my opinion, this would have been the best & cheapest solution too, provided Bangalore had many roads where space could have been allocated for bus lanes. I had, in fact worked on a plan for a BRT sytem for feeding the Metro. This had posed many hurdles & had been very difficult & I could manage to chalk out only a few routes, most of them one-way with single lanes where widths were available.

In Delhi, with it's wide roads, this might have been possible to a much more larger extent, but they have also opted for an expensive Metro rail system.

Where does Bangalore stand ?  The roads, barring a few are narrow for providing bus lanes for dependable, quick movements. Various study reports have also pointed in the direction of elevated rail (either Light-rail or Metro-rail).

In order to take care of future requirements, the authorities have opted for Metro-rail & I think this is a wise decision, considering that sometime in the future, loads may increase & if a light-rail were installed, it might be insufficient in the future.

Another point - no matter how many systems you fit, car population on the streets will always take up the vacated space & it might not necessarily mean that with metro-rail in place, car traffic will become minimum.

By going in for a Metro, we are assured that there will be a choice, a more reliable & dependable choice for commuting & for most income group peoples to use, & in this context, despite the high costs, the system is justifiable.

pradyumnaj's picture

Metro to electronic City ON BETL

Why do your Town planners not plan for future. Since Bangalore - electronic city Elevated Highway is being Built why not the planner planned for Metro Line in the middle. it would have saved lot of Tax payer’s Money as well time, by end of this year Metro line would have been ready. comment guidelines

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