BENGALURU: A Metrolite system, a light urban rail transit system with small coaches and cheaper than the regular Metro network, could be operational here. The Comprehensive Mobility Plan, prepared by the Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Ltd, envisages three Metrolite corridors under Phase 3 of Namma Metro — Magadi Road Toll Gate to Kadabagere (13km), Whitefield – Domlur (16km) and Katamanallur Gate (near Hoskote) to Sarjapur Road-Hebbal (52 km). In addition, a 34-km underground corridor along the Inner Ring Road and 30-km Hebbal to JP Nagar (ORR-West) is also proposed under this phase. While ORR-West and Magadi Road Toll Gate are old corridors proposed under Phase 3, the others are new ones. However, it’s unclear whether the earlier Phase 3 corridors like Gottigere to Basavapura, Nagawara to Aerospace Park, Kogilu Cross to Rajanakunte, Iblur to Carmelaram and Bommasandra to Attibele will be dropped. There’s no mention of these corridors in the CMP.
“Each project suggested in CMP will have to go through the process of alternative investment analysis, appraisal and approval,” a senior BMRCL official said. The Centre has been encouraging cities to go in for Metrolite systems as it’s less cost-intensive — nearly 50% cheaper compared to the normal network. A Metrolite can be built on surface as well as elevated tracks. “Metrolite is suggested as the rail-based public transport system has a cost-effective mobility solution for the likely ridership. The inner ring Metro suggested as the underground system as elevated system is not feasible due to smaller road width,” the CMP says. It also suggested “to plan new Metro lines aligned with the master plan of the city and its areas of growth, keeping in mind the development of economic centres and residential layouts; focus must also be ensured on core areas, where construction may be difficult”. Metrolite for PRR, NICE? A Bus Rapid Transport System or Metrolite has been suggested for Peripheral Ring Road and NICE Road. “The selection between BRTS or Metrolite will need to be done based on detailed ridership assessment and analysis. The total length of BRTS / Metrolite on NICE road and proposed PRR is 107km,” the CMP says. “PRR of 78-km length and 80-metre width is proposed on the northwest periphery of the city with complementary connectivity to NICE Road on the south-east periphery and provision in the middle for BRTS or traction guided at-grade,” it added. “The overall public transport network of 803km within Bangalore Metropolitan Area is envisaged under different modes — dedicated rails, roads, road lanes, traction-guidance, i.e. Metro, suburban rail, priority bus corridors, BRTS or Metrolite in addition to augmentation of public bus transport services,” it adds.