What the Metro means to Bangalore realty
January 23, 2012, Bangalore
Even as the Metro rail chugs on its way up the popularity chart in Bangalore, the government has approved the second phase of 'Namma Metro'. The 72-km Phase II of Metro will come up at an estimated Rs 27,000 crore, and is expected to be completed by 2017.
Will the coming of the Metro churn — or even marginally touch — the real estate market scene as it did the Capital?
Mr V. K. Sharma, Director and Chief Executive, LIC Housing Finance, at a recent event in Bangalore, said that he expected the metro train service to transform the city in the next three years. He explained the case of how Delhi went through a similar experience after the metro service was started there. Real estate analysts point out that the peripheral property markets in areas like Gurgaon sky-rocketed, thanks to the Delhi metro.
In October 2011, a 6.7-km stretch between Baiyappanahalli and M G Road, with six stations, was inaugurated. The stretch is Metro's 'Reach 1' part of the East-West corridor of the first phase. Phase I will see a 42.3-km network, 8.8 km of which will be underground on the East-West (Baiyappanahalli to Mysore Road) and North-West (Hesarghatta to Puttenahalli) corridors with 40 stations. The first phase is expected to be completed by December 2013.
The second phase will see extension of all reaches on the two existing corridors, east-west and north-south. Besides, two new lines — from Jayanagar to Electronics City, passing through Jayadeva Hospital, BTM Layout and Silk Board, and the other from Nagavara to Gottigere, passing through the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore — would also come up.
In a significant move, that will ensure that this public transport would serve the IT population of this city in a better way, the east-west corridor would be extended up to Whitefield in the east, and Kengeri in the West. The north-south corridor would now be extended up to the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre in the north, and up to Anjanapura township in the south.
It has to be noted that Phase 1 of the project doesn't cover the IT hubs of the city. That route would have helped it address the city's infamous traffic woes in a better way. A real estate developer pointed out that Phase I of the metro doesn't cover those city locations where IT offices are located. Currently, Reach 1 of the Metro has made no difference to the everyday traffic woes of the areas it serves, he said.
The city’s working population predominantly belongs to the IT/ITeS sectors, and most of the IT/ITeS offices are located in locations such as Outer Ring Road, Electronics City, Whitefield, and Bannerghatta Road. Extending this infrastructural project to include the IT corridors of the city would not only make commuting to office much easier and faster for the city’s working class, but would also help de-congest the fully-blocked roads.
As has been the experience so far with the Metro, the commute between the now-operational Baiyappanahalli and MG Road doesn’t take more than 9 minutes. That very road, at peak-hour traffic,