The IRM corridor would connect major commercial and educational hubs in the Central Bengaluru.
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has proposed the construction of the underground Metro corridor along Inner Ring Road to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL).
In a study presented to the BMRCL, the Civic Engineering Department off IISc stated that if implemented, the proposed 34-km underground line has the potential to increase the overall ridership of Namma Metro from 8 lakh to 15 lakh once the under construction and proposed Metro lines are ready.
The study noted that "with a further rise in the metro network by 34 km in addition to 169 km, the ridership increases by 77% when compared to Business as Usual (BAU) scenario."
According to Prof. Dr Ashish Verma, Associate Professor at IISc, the Inner Ring Road will have 23 Metro stations and six interchanges. He said, "Any circular city in the world, which has a good public transport system, has both radial and ring lines. Bengaluru, too, needs such inner ring metro corridors. At present, the whole inner part of the city is left out. Considering this, we had proposed the plan to the government, and BMRCL had asked us to come out with an evaluation."
The IRM would serve as a link connecting the city's major commercial and educational hubs in the Central Bengaluru including Mehri Circle, Domlur, Kormangala, IISc and South End Circle.
According to the IISc study, once the IMR is integrated to the overall metro network, the maximum Passengers Per Hour Per Direction (PPHPD) would go up to 48, 425 between Whitefield and Ujjwal stations, and 33, 016 on the IMR between Hosahalli and Padarayanapura stations. The study mentioned that all the lines of IMR would have six-coach trains with capacity at 69, 000 PPHPD.
The proposed IRM corridor has been mentioned in the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) 2031, however, it is not clear if the underground line will be a part of Mamma Metro's upcoming phase III project. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd is yet to finalize the new lines, it was reported.
Why the new metro corridor
With the current population of over 1 crore which is expected to grow double by 2031, there is a massive demand to expand the Metro lines quickly.
It is believed that the proposed metro corridor would reduce the traffic on the road by 22% and increase 9% in motorized transport users.
Current Namma Metro network
Currently, Bengaluru city Metro networks spread over 42 km. The BMRCL is constructing a 72-km Metro line, which is expected to be ready by 2023-24.
Officials plan to build to another 53 km Metro line (between Central Silk Board to Kempegowda Airport) in the next five years.
If the IRM becomes a reality, it will increase the metro network to 207 km with 148 stations and 13 interchanges spread across the city.