Metro on MG Road. Your reactions please.

MG%20road_metro.jpgThis is how MG road will look after the proposed Metro rail work is complete.

Picture Source: Deccan Herald

The M G Road promenade will stay. However, you will have the Metro running right above it. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) will also axe 16 trees on this stretch. Metro authorities are promising that the look of the promenade will be restored once the elevated Metro rail is built. But the work of the Metro rail and then the restoring of the look could take a while. You can forget your strolls and enjoying some quiet on the benches there.

Metro would have been best running underground in this section, leaving the entire promenade as is. Apparently, that will cost them way more than what the elevated rail is going to cost them. The other option would have been to avoid MG road altogether and do the Metro on Cubbon road that runs exactly parallel to MG road. Anyway, what do you think? Are we bidding adieu to what we all are so familar with? How do you feel?

22 Comments so far

  1. Prashanth (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

    I believe the thing is not about loosing something which we have grown up with, but more importantly will it server its purpose or become one more ugly structure jutting out like the National College Flyover.

    I believe that the trend worldover is that a Metro, especially one that runs on the ground doesnt make justice to neither the commuters nor the pedestrians. Underground is costly, but if it makes commercial sense, why not have the whole thing under the ground with only stations being on ground. A better alternative is to widen the main corridors so as to ensure that traffic flows are more smooth.

    I for one dont beleive that even with the coming of the Metro, there wont be any relief to the road users since not only would have the population increased substantially by that time, but also the fact that it will attract more users of Bus rather than getting those who use their own vehicles to travel to travel in them.

    I believe Bangalore would have been better without this large scale destruction, but would anyone listen?????????


  2. Prabhu (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

    Am not sure about MG Road, but I have been hearing that they are going to do away with the trees on South End Road :( If that happens, it will be something very sad since it is one of the greenest roads in the city.

  3. Suyog (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

    At one end, we complain that we do not have the right infrastructure and the govt does not act fast. Now as the work is just going to start, everyone wants to put a spanner in the works. I am not saying that we should do away with the beauty of MG Road but the metro route alignment details are available since years. How come no even spoke a word about this till now ? I really do not want the arm chair intellectuals to delay yet another project. Let us move one and be a little bit more careful in the future.

  4. tarlesubba (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

    while DH has attacked this at many levels, the bund itself is a landscaping issue, which perhaps can now perhaps be remade with much better design, with greener shrubs and rosier flowers.

    The 16 trees donot make an ecosystem. The list of direct & indirect environmental benefits of a large capacity public transit system in a region that is a heavy traffic generator, not to mention an important link to the fast growing regions to the east & south east of byappanahalli, is much longer than any list of benefits that 16 trees(in isolation or as part of a greater green cover) would provide.

    Trees are themselves not permanent structures. They die. & that is the beauty of them. they are replaceble with minimal environmental footprint.

    The environmental concerns are basically skewed.
    an example of that (there are others); you dig(‘trenchlessly’ at that) the city up for underground rail. Then where do you dump the extracts? Prolly in some country side which in all probability is still an ecosystem. Is Bangalore’s green cover more precious than an actual country-side ecosystem?

    16 trees & 48 environmentalists donot make an ecosystem.

    all this tree saving, 40×60 site making, public transit opposing has led to urban sprawl that is actually threating actual ecosystems. perhaps people ought to climb these trees and take a glimpse at the horizon.

    i have other quarrels with those that narrow this down to wide roads and have multiple syllables for those peddling mono. but that’ll be later.

  5. Chitra (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

    @ Suyog, I am not opposing anything. All I want to know is what people “feel” now that this is on! We probably will do better with the Metro, I don’t know. I am not sure. However, now that this is the reality, how do we feel about the look and feel of something as ancient as Bangalore itself. Personally, for me, it is a sense of loss. But, it is not heart-breaking or anything like that. Just that we are going to change, change forever! Nothing is permanent and things were anyway going to change, but when it does, we do sense something. Talking about it collectively helps. A metroblog post is not going to change the plan for the Metro. :)

  6. GOUTHAM (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 10:53 pm

    I think that the metro should go underground in the congested areas.It will be an eyesore also cause a lot of noise.In places like New York the metro is underground in the more congested areas of downtown and midtown.This leaves the steets free for walking and shopping.

    The argument Banaglore metro is using is the additional cost of 40-50 Crores.I am not sure if bangaloreans are willing to foot the bill?

  7. Suyog (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 1:13 am

    I completely understand your point Chitra and have nothing really against what you have said. My tirade was more towards DH and the constant coverage that they are giving to this issue asking all and sundry about their views. Yesterday I heard Justice Saldhana gave a request to VP Shekawat regd this issue. My disappointment is with these people. Sorry for having expressed my feelings towards these people via this post.

  8. Suyog (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 1:21 am

    Just one more thing. I do not know about other cities but in Bangalore we have a set of people who speak a lot, especially via the media, and make themselves heard as if they are speaking on behalf of the entire public of Bangalore. These set of people unfortunately do not follow up any of their words with the right action. Case in point was the recent stray dog menace. During one of the BBCC interaction, a host of people wanted them to be protected and voiced almost unanimously that they wanted to adopt them. When the meeting ended and they were asked to leave behind their names for the adoption purposes, hardly a few did the needful. The Metro topic is also heading in the same direction. Are these folks ready to pay for that additional cost, not to mention the effort and time loss that this would entail ? It is one thing to speak in the media about the beauty of Bangalore and completely a different thing to back it up with the required action.

  9. Chitra (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 2:58 am

    @ Suyog, your tirade was the exact purpose of this post. So, no worries! Typically, the educated common man only has the medium of blogs to express himself. That was the idea of this post. The voicing of our opinions may not amount to much, but just having the ability to “talk” helps. If you are frustrated at “these people” and want to express it through this post, so be it. :)

  10. Vasanth (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 10:28 am

    Metro train is very much essential to combat traffic issues in Bangalore. To achieve this, there is no other go. Bangalore city is full of very large trees. Wherever the alignment is changed, trees may have to be axed or there is loss of property. Both the issues people are not ready to bear. But, still people want metro and complain that Bangalore is having infrastructure problem easily. How to achieve this? We have to compromise.. Any how the bolevard is going to be rebuilt and trees will be planted. Initially I thought it should be shifted to neighbouring palace ground, but, even there you can find lot of trees and we cannot get straight path since Chinnaswamy Stadium is on the way.

    We will appreciate this once we take the first metro train and reach whitefield in 30 minutes from Vijaynagar. Currently by bus it takes more than 1 1/2 hours. This supported by Mono will ease the flow of people.

    It is the reluctance to change that is leaving us behind compared to western countries.

  11. Vasanth (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 10:51 am

    Most of the people have commented that it should have gone underground. It will go underground in highly populated areas as shown in the map. The cost and the time involved constructing underground metro is more. It will become like Bangalore – Mangalore railway line. Now, people speak of mono when the work has begun. Even for mono, pillars have to be constructed and trees have to be evicted. Monorail doesn’t go underground. Many are debating that even after Metro’s arrival, there would not be any changes in traffic. Answer is forget about people who are not using public transport – they will never, atleast people who are now travelling in crowded buses which is the only means of public transport will opt for Metro and can travel comfortably, safely and moreover very quickly to their destination. Metro is going to be air-conditioned and more emphasis on standing to incorporate more people.

  12. Ravi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 10:54 am

    Good post. Mine will come up by close of today, with a lot of pics!

  13. ss (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 12:36 pm

    16 trees definitely donot make an ecossytem,but is that all that were chopped in the name of infra-structure development/better future for grand children etc etc.Our level of sensitivity has to start with that tree next door.People chop trees because it obstructs the view of their beautiful house!!!!!!!!And I guess constant sights of chopped off trees all around the city dose’nt help either.We had once gone to a brick factory on Bellary Road.The road in front of it had trees chopped off – more than 50 ,the factory owner told us- for a bypass to the National Highway.But the irony was ,that the bypass was shifted.Once again that many trees were chopped on another rd!!!!!!!!Maybe ,just maybe ,this and godknows how many more situations like this could have been avoided if we had become a wee bit more snsitive ’bout our environment.I am totally for the metro…… BUT …..Does development have to be at the cost of the natural environment?

  14. kpowerinfinity (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 10:46 am

    Is there any timeline on the construction work? I am sure it will affect traffic in the MG Rd area. Is there a website to track progress of public projects?

  15. Chitra (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 10:56 am

    They do have a timeline. I think, in 2 years time they hope to finish with the construction work and really start the service in 2010. There is a website for Metro in particular. Will have to dig around.

  16. Ravi (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 4:23 pm

    KPower & Chitra,
    No digging around required. Not when I’m here at least. Point your browser to a lot of information at

  17. Sanjay (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

    @SUYOG et al.

    Ever heard of a something call fact and another thing called fantasy. Then there is some other phrase called feasibility study.

    If you are aware of those words, have you tried implementing them.

    At times I really wonder at people, they hear something, and if their ears like the sound bites they accept it as bible.

    You talk of Metro as if it is one stop solution to all of the bangalore’s traffic problems and the moment it comes they will disappear, if not all then some at least.

    Time for Sanity check guys from the First city to have metro (Kolkata) (I am fully qualified to write about it as I am a Kolkatan who works in Bangalore for last 2+ years [2+ means (I am fully qualified to write about it as I am a Kolkatan who works in Bangalore for last 2+ years [2+ means

  18. kpowerinfinity (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

    @Sanjay – I am not sure if I agree with you. Metro has really helped in Calcutta. You can completely avoid the traffic and go via the metro. Also, the point about metro stations being bottlenecks – that means that a lot of people actually use the metro now.

    The point is, having public transport will never take private transport off the road. However, it makes life for people a hell lot easier. Look at it this way — I hardly go to Koramangla now because it takes so much time, and there is so much pollution on the way. If there was good public transport, that would have been very different.

    I think Metro is a step in the right direction. However, it has to be done well.. and fast! Calcutta metro was a real pain because of the time it took to complete. Delhi has been extremely agile and we should follow their example.

    In fact, they are far more reasoned and seasoned than the administration here. The city has been completely transformed in the last few years. The roads are lovely with trees lining both sides, they are clean and accessible, commute is quicker (now that the metro is also coming to a close).

  19. S.S.Nagaraj (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 6:31 pm

    It is annoying to see that people who will never use the Metro are the ones who make impeding remarks that will slowdown the tempo of the project.It will be the “Bada Bore Gowda” who will be benifitted by this and it is his opinion that should count.When hardly 5% of people use the MG road bund,too much is being spoken about that.In any case,when the old,beautiful South Parade has all but disappeared,there is need to think of a new look Bangalore.Kumaraswamy Government has shown alround dynamism and I am sure completion of Bangalore Metro on schedule will be one of their prime achievements.

  20. S.S.Nagaraj (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 6:33 pm

    It is annoying to see that people who will never use the Metro are the ones who make impeding remarks that will slowdown the tempo of the project.It will be the “Bada Bore Gowda” who will be benifitted by this and it is his opinion that should count.When hardly 5% of people use the MG road bund,too much is being spoken about that.In any case,when the old,beautiful South Parade has all but disappeared,there is need to think of a new look Bangalore.Kumaraswamy Government has shown alround dynamism and I am sure completion of Bangalore Metro on schedule will be one of their prime achievements.

  21. M.K.sridhar (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 12:58 pm

    You cant both have and eat the cake.People cry hoarse over Bangalore not having an effective public transport system causing trafiic jams and need to have a rapid mass transit system and at the same time cry hoarse over felling of trees,spoiling century old set upd etc.
    same with need of hvaing underground metro,but not willing to shell more money which is needed for underground metro over the overhead metro.People should look at everything in totality before expressing rather than like the 4 blind men who touched only part of elephant.

  22. pramod (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

    An issue like this is a complex one. The most fundamental thing to consider however is does the city remain as livable as today after the metro is completed. The livability factor is not just because of 16 trees or 48 environmentalists. It is that the MG Road is what draws people to Bangalore. It is the hub of activity today, as it is wide, green and beautiful. You put an elevated road and may be replant some trees and shrubs, but a structure like this can never be beautiful. You have live examples in Delhi and Boston. Wherever it is over the ground it is like a sore thumb. To me the over the ground metro is going to simply take away what makes millions of city residents proud of the city. The traffic congestions for the next five years and the invisible costs to the city inhabitants are probably worth looking at the feasibility of the underground network. May be it will be double more expensive, but eventually you will have something that the city and its people will be proud of.

    I can bet you if anyone proposed building this on fifth ave in New York, the whole city would be out on the streets protesting it. Let us have a strong people’s movement and do what is best for the city.

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