Proposal for a cheaper, efficient Metro line on Inner Ring Road

metro on inner ring road

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Bengaluru Metro
A Metro line on Inner Ring Road is expected to reduce traffic at the city level. Representational image: Pragathi R

The Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) proposed the Inner Ring Metro (IRM), a fully underground 34-km-long metro line to be completed by 2031, as phase 3 in the Comprehensive Mobility Plan of 2019. IRM would comprise 23 new metro stations and six interchanges, considering the completion of all other phases of the metro project. This line was suggested as it connects all major commercial and educational hubs, which might help reduce traffic congestion at the city level.

Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Transportation Research Lab evaluated this Metro line proposal in February 2020. In a report, they concluded that the IRM can achieve a 77% increase in Namma Metro’s ridership by 2030, and take the network length up to 203 km. The report further concluded that with the IRM, there could be a decrease of 14% in Vehicle Kilometers Travelled, a decrease of 11% in fuel consumption, along with a 9% increase in Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) trips, which meant a decrease of 4% in emissions each year.

2020 Report from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Transportation Research Lab:
Ridership Estimation and Evaluation of the Proposed Inner Ring Metro Corridor in Bengaluru City, Authors: Ashish Verma, Harsha V, Hemanthini A R

Read more: “Namma Metro till Silk Institute saves me Rs 10,000 a month”

Lohith Kumar J C, an engineer who tracks infrastructure projects in the city, wondered why the project was not being taken up despite so many benefits. He has been studying this route since the time it was proposed, and felt BMRC was only prioritising other lines in Phase 3 – JP Nagar to Hebbal (along the Outer Ring Road) and Magadi Road Tollgate to Kadabagere.

Bengaluru Inner Ring Metro (IRM) proposal by Lohith Kumar
Proposed Inner Ring Metro (IRM) line. Image Courtesy: Lohith Kumar

Lohith worries that by delaying the execution of the IRM, BMRC might lose the land parcels to developers, which would make the Metro costlier at a later date. Also, since building a completely underground network costs three times as much as building an elevated network, the proposal might get shelved by the government. And the city will lose out on the traffic and productivity benefits determined by IISc. He points to the lost opportunity at Koramangala, which now has an elevated road corridor instead of a Metro line.

So, Lohith took it upon himself to study the alignment. He drew up maps to show where the stations and lines could come up over ground, in order to reduce cost and make the project attractive for BMRC to take up on priority. He proposes a line with 21 stations, of which six are underground, 11 elevated, and four either elevated or underground. That is, almost half the stations identified are elevated. They are also next to government entities, so the acquisition costs can reduce. He has identified possible approach/retract locations, and also recommends integration with other Metro lines to ensure seamless connectivity.

No.StationInterchange stationStation typeStation LocationDistance from previous station (km)
1TollGate1) Hosahalli (Phase 1)
2)Tollgate [Magadi Road to Kadabagere] (Ph 3)
UndergroundPrameelabhai Mane BBMP High School2.6
2Dhobi Ghat JunctionNAUndergroundBESCOM Rajajinagar, West of Chord Road1.6
3ISCKONMahalakshmi (Ph 1); Connect with skywalkUndergroundKamalamma Gundi (KG) Ground (or) ISKCON Temple Parking2.6
4Yeshwanthpur TTMCSandal Soap Factory (Ph 1);
Connect with skywalk
UndergroundKarle Exports and Gopal Theatre1
5SadashivanagarNAUnderground/ ElevatedCPRI Campus, Yeshwanthpur – Mekhri Circle Road2.1
6Mekhri CircleNAUnderground/ ElevatedPalace Grounds, Jayamahal Main Road1.1
7JC NagaraNAUnderground/ ElevatedFunitureworld ground, Opp. Snow City Jayamahal Main Road1.5
8CantonmentNAElevatedKings Crest apartments, Millers Road, Jayamahal1.7
9Government LibraryBamboo Bazar (Ph 2);
Connect with skywalk
ElevatedGovernment Library, Millers Road1.1
10Ulsoor LakeNAElevatedKensington Gardens, Murphy Road2.6
11BDA ComplexNAElevatedBDA Complex Indiranagar, Swami Vivekananda Road1.5
12CMH ParkIndiranagar (Ph 1);
Connect with skywalk
ElevatedCMH Park Indiranagar, Intermediate Ring Road1.1
13DoopanahalliNAElevatedDoopanahalli Bus Stop, Intermediate Ring Road1.7
14Embassy Golf Link (EGL)NAElevatedEGL Gate, Hero Honda Stop, Intermediate Ring Road1
15KoramangalaNAElevatedSt.John’s Medical College Sports Ground, Near St. Johns Hospital Madiwala Junction5
16Forum MallNAElevatedForum Mall, Hosur Main Road1
17Dairy CircleDairy Circle (Ph 2)ElevatedITI College (or) Dharmaram College, Hosur Main Road1
18Wilson Garden
NAElevatedLalbagh Siddapura, Siddapura Road, Near Karumariamman circle1.6
19Teachers CollegeLalbagh (Ph 1);
Connect with skywalk
Underground/ ElevatedTeachers College Circle, Opposite RV Teachers College2.8 / 1.7
20Bull Temple / BMS CollegeNAUndergroundBugle Rock Park, Opposite BMS College for Women1.3
21KempambudhiNAUndergroundRajiv Gandhi Sports Complex2.3
Stations on IRM, proposed by Lohith Kumar

Click here to view Lohith Kumar’s full proposal.

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About Sathya Sankaran 16 Articles
Sathya Sankaran is a founding member of Praja-Raag, a Bengaluru-based citizen group.


  1. The IRM and Carmelaram – Yelahanka lines are great proposals which need to be implemented in phase 3. It’s really unfortunate that the state is only considering ORR-West and minor extensions around it.

  2. Traffic issues in some roads will automatically reduce if HAL airport opens, It will.resuce pollution and save millions of barrels of petrol/diesel and commute time for many travellers.

  3. Pls no more metro trains . Decongest city . Hard earned tax payers money wasted on it. Instead have a circular tram or railway much cheaper. Metro too expensive and very less users.

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