Lot’s been said about the Bangalore Metro Project. But for the businessmen in the city, the project just means good business.
By Leena Ghosh
When talks for Bangalore Metro Rail project started, it caused furore in various sections of the rapidly growing city. While the project still remains a topic of debate, businessmen are looking forward to the completion of the project as they expect a boom in their business. The Bangalore Metro promises to deliver a successful integrated public transport system offering comprehensive connectivity, convenience, comfort, affordability, frequency, reliability, safety and aesthetics. And those in the know are confident of the outcome.
Weaving through the commercial and residential areas, the metro tracks connect the important centres of the city. The first phase of Bangalore Metro will cover a total of 42.30 km. The East-West corridor will be 18.10 km. long, starting from Baiyappanahalli and ending at Mysore Road terminal, going via Swami Vivekananda Road, Indiranagar, Halasuru, Trinity, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Cricket Stadium, Vidhana Soudha, Central College, Majestic, City Railway Station, Magadi Road, Hosahalli, Vijayanagar and Deepanjali Nagar. The North-South corridor will be 24.20 km long and begin at Nagadandra and go up to Puttenahalli going via Mahalakshmi, Rajajinagar, Kuvempu Road, Malleswaram, Swastik, Majestic, Chikpete, City Market, K.R. Road, Lalbagh, South End Circle,Jayanagar and Puttenahalli. Out of the 42.30 km., 8.822 km. will be underground near City Railway Station, Vidhana Soudha, Majestic and City Market and the rest will be elevated.
Good Business and Ease of Commute
Rajesh Rajaram, Managing Director of Hotel Ivory Tower and popular restaurants of Ebony and 13th Floor (overlooking the Metro tracks on MG road) feels restaurants and shops in the 300-400 meter radius distance from the terminal ‘will get wings when the project is completed.’
“My business suffered a lot for the last three years when the metro was under construction. But I think, after the Metro project is completed it’ll be great for the businesses in and around MG Road and Indiranagar because every place will become so much more accessible.” Rajaram pointed out that ease of commute would trigger the growth of businesses in the commercial district of the city. “Earlier I would not even think of going to South Indies on 100 Ft Road for lunch. But with the Metro coming up, I can reach there in a short span of time. The same point will hold true for people coming to MG Road. It’ll especially benefit those working in the IT hub of the city. Since the IT offices are located far away from the city, they have limited options when it comes to eating out. They can just hop on to the metro and reach MG Road in 10 minutes. The Metro will add to the business of those located within 300-400 mtrs of the Metro Stations,” he said.
Noaman razack, Additional Director of Prestige Group, felt that while the Metro will yield good business for the shops and hotels located in the prime areas, the delay in completing the project leaves a bad impression. “They have not done a good job.They needed proper infrastructural planning and should have completed project faster. Following the Delhi model would have been a good idea as it has been a huge successs. However the Metro is good news for the city because of the rapid rate at which the city is growing. The fact that you can travel from MG road to Byappanahalli within minutes will be a great boon for the commuters,” he said.
Huvida Marshall, General Manager, The Oberoi, said “Yes, I do feel once the Metro project is completed it will have a positive impact on business in the area surrounding M.G.Road. In most International locales, niche business hotels much like ours or high end establishments are located in city centre areas. The bonuses of such a location are accebility to safe and technologically savvy public transport system. Thus, Bangalore being an important part of the global map with a sizeable influx of foreign travelers, should benefit from such a project.”
Rajaram felt that parking is one of the biggest issue that’ll be addressed with the Metro Project. “The lunch crowd is mostly corporate crowd and consists of a group of 15-20 people.They need space to park their cars or bikes. I see that finding parking for your bikes is much more difficult than cars. Metro will address these woes as all you need to do is jump into the train and walk to your favourite restaurant on MG Road,” he said. “Problems of traffic congestion and lack of adequate public parking are problems that plague a lot of populous global cities. Evolvement of safe, hygienic and technologically advanced public transportation system can surely provide relief to this kind of problem. We remain hopeful that the addition of the Metro project will enable the easing out of traffic in the central arteries of Bangalore,” said Marshall.
Places like Brigade Road and Commercial Street can look forward to happy days once the Metro is on its tracks. “This will come as a boon for daytime shoppers. Housewives don’t have to depend on crowded buses or negotiate with auto drivers to get them to Brigade Road. This will expand the horizons of the shoppers. More and more people will try and adapt their lifestyle to the Metro,” he explained.
Bangalore Metro might not be one of the more popular projects in the city, however it is set to prove the naysayers wrong by changing the way the people of Bangalore travel. And in a good way.