News Brief

Bengaluru Traffic Woes: IISc Backs Inner Ring Underground Metro Over Congress Government's Tunnel Road Plan

Nayan Dwivedi

Oct 27, 2023, 05:35 PM | Updated 05:35 PM IST

Karnataka government has proposed a 190 km long tunnel road in Bengaluru to ease traffic congestion. (Representational image)
Karnataka government has proposed a 190 km long tunnel road in Bengaluru to ease traffic congestion. (Representational image)

As the Karnataka government continues to pursue its extensive tunnel road plan, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru has advised the state government to prioritise the expansion of the Inner Ring Road underground Metro to address the city's transportation challenges effectively.

Bengaluru, with its rapidly growing population, has been grappling with severe traffic congestion, making the development of efficient public transport systems crucial.

In light of this, the IISc has emphasised the advantages of Metro rail systems over road networks, pointing out that a single-track Metro can handle 38.3 times more passengers than a regular road, significantly increasing public transportation capacity, as reported by Moneycontrol.

The proposal from IISc recommends the construction of a fully underground Inner Ring Road Metro, which would connect major commercial and educational hubs in Bengaluru.

This Metro line is expected to have 23 stations and six interchanges with other lines, boosting the overall ridership of the Namma Metro by 77 per cent.

In contrast, the development of tunnel roads, another option considered by the Karnataka government, may not be as effective.

The IISc report indicates that the construction of tunnel roads could lead to a 2.7 per cent increase in the number of vehicles on the road, worsening congestion.

However, if the Metro is prioritised over tunnel roads, it is projected to reduce the number of vehicles on the road by 5.3 per cent, contributing to a decrease in carbon emissions and road accidents.

While tunnel roads have been touted as a solution to traffic woes, experts and environmentalists have voiced concerns about their feasibility, potential environmental impacts, and the complexity of the Bengaluru's geology.

Bengaluru Metro's Phase 3 projects, awaiting approval from the Union government, have yet to see pre-construction activities such as land acquisition and utility relocation initiated by the state government.

Bengaluru is also far from achieving its Comprehensive Mobility Plan's goal of having a 317 km Metro network by 2031, with only 73 km currently operational.

In a city grappling with congestion and increasing vehicular pollution, the IISc's recommendation to prioritise the expansion of the Metro network over tunnel roads, continues as the city seeks ways to alleviate its growing traffic issues.

Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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