Bengaluru: A dedicated suburban railway network for Bengaluru has finally become a reality with the project getting an approval from the Extended Railway Board on Monday. The announcement comes after various citizen groups persistently put pressure on the authorities to clear the project as a solution to city’s burgeoning traffic woes especially in the high-density IT Corridor along the Outer Ring Road.
Even in the run-up to the Railway Board meeting, activists ran a Twitter campaign in support of the project, which is on the lines of transport facilities in metro cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
The rail project got the approval at a meeting attended by members from the Union finance ministry, Niti Aayog and the ministry of statistics and programme implementation. The project is likely to be placed before the Cabinet for approval within a month. The suburban rail network, which will be built at a cost of Rs 15,990 crore, will cover 148.17 km, comprising 57 railway stations. The project is expected to be completed by 2025. "This approval comes as a relief to workers in the tech sector as trains are expected to run six days a week, except Sundays. A train from KSR Bengaluru will take 25 minutes to reach Baiyappanahalli, which is less compared to the travel time between the two stations on Namma Metro train, mainly due to the number of stops. It is in the best interest of the public that the project is completed at the earliest,” said Mr Rakshith N., a regular train commuter.
Of the 148.17 km network, 55.57 km will be elevated, while the rest will be at ground level. The project is expected to cost around `16,000 crore which is almost `3,500 crore less than the previous estimate of `19,500 crore.This sprawling suburban network is expected to be connected to at least 10 Metro stations – Majestic, Yeshwanthpur, Kengeri, Cantonment, Whitefield, K.R. Puram, Baiyappanahalli, Jnanabharathi and Nayandahalli....