ARS Iyer - Blog

A New Landmark


From a sleepy little town which is often called Pensioners' Paradise Bangalore (Bengaluru) founded by a local chieftain named Kempegowda has metamorphosised into a big City in just five decades.

When I landed in the city in the late Forties the population was just about 50 lakhs.  And in the last five decades it has grown to eight and a half millions. This has been attributed to the large influx of people from other parts of the country seeking employment opportunities.  In the Fifties many new industries like Indian Telephone Industries, Hindustan Machine Tools, Bharat Electronics Ltd, and the Wheel and Axle Plant besides the expansion of Hindustan Aircraft Ltd attracted hordes of skilled and unskilled labour force. In the last decade the IT industry has expanded beyond any ones imagination bringing into the city young men just out of engineering and other professional colleges in hordes.


The city expanded beyond the perimeters set by the founder of Bengaluru.  This expansion called for provision of additional infrastructure.  The transportation needs of the increasing population had to be taken care of.  Consequently the City Bus service grew manifold over the years.   While there has been constant increase in rail services from and to the city from the nearby towns and cities, such services were practically non existent within the city. Because of the uneven terrain introduction of trams was not considered while double decker buses and tubular buses were experimented with and given up.  While the infrastructural needs are partially met the explosion of other forms of personal transportation like auto rickshaws, two and three wheelers saw the already congested roads choke up.


It is at this point of time that the city planners decided to go for aerial transport.  Namma Metro was conceived about a few years back and work on bringing it to shape commenced.  A network of about 45 kilo meters of both surface and underground rail lines criscrossing the City connecting the expanding city limits has been planned.  The first completed seven km stretch from Byappanahalli in the east to MG Road in the business district was thrown upon for traffic last October.  The stretch has five stations and they are most modern in conception and execution.   As the work is going on apace it is expected the whole network connecting the entire stretches from the east, west,north and southern parts of the fast expanding City will be a dream come true by end of 2015.


The Metro train is not only time saving but an easthetic marvel.





  1. Sabeshan

    Kudos to Karnataka’s government for getting this done! I’m looking forward to riding Namma Metro next time we are in India. I hope that in the next ten years every city in India will develop such facilities!

  2. Ambika

    Good one Daddy.. I am really excited about the metro.. Finally one for -Namma Bengaluru-.. Glad that you could take a ride on the metro and visit all your old time favorite places.. The Delhi metro was quite classy by itself and I’m waiting for a ride on the Bangalore Metro now 🙂

  3. Balakrishnan G

    It is now important for the Authorities to push for a properly planned feeder transport system else -Namma Metro- will just add to the already chaotic congestion on the road. The metro pillars in itself taking up quite some space in the already narrow roads of Bengalooru. People should be encouraged to use Public Transport and avoid personal transport unless very necessary. I think BMTC was already doing a good job by introducing world class bus transport. As a Civil Engineer, Namma Metro with a predominant over ground network is a wasteful expenditure and I hope it doesnt only serve as a -Tourist Attraction- or -Joy Ride- given the amount of pain the Bengalooru Commoner endured during the construction couple with the Bengalooru’s tree cover that was admired nationwide even giving the city a moniker called Garden City.

  4. Balakrishnan G

    I was seeing some old photographs of Bengalooru (0f the early 20th century period) on facebook with its expansive roads minus the chaos and congestion of todays bengalooru. I would have loved to live in that bygone era of which you were privileged to witness. If Time travel had been a reality I would have travelled back to the Bangalore of the 1950’s.

  5. Supriya Sundar

    Nice one Daddy.. I have seen a few pictures of the finished line from the Namma Metro project and I certainly am proud that Bangalore has done it. I had a look at those pictures of Bangalore from the 1920’s as well and was able to relate to your first 2 paragraphs of this blog and the numerous stories you have told us. I am so happy that I have been part of this mega development of this small town. When some of my colleagues and acquaintances have asked me which part of India I am from and when I say Bangalore, I feel proud that they recognise the city as being an International hub for major tech companies and investment… Well done Bangalore!! Really would like a ride on the line the next time we visit.