BENGALURU: While citizens are elated with the state cabinet’s decision, it seems the Railways and the state are not on the same page. This might lead to some confusion in the implementation of the project. The Railways claim there has been no communication made by the state before making the announcement. Also, it is yet to approve the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by RITES.
Sanjiv Agarwal, divisional railway manager, Bengaluru railway division, expressed his shock over the announcement. “I have no idea in what context they have given a go-ahead for the project. The DPR prepared by RITES has not been accepted by Railways. We have sent the report back and RITES is to revert to us with clarifications, which they have not done yet. The report has to be accepted by the ministry for the state to approve the project. The state did not send a communication to us before making the announcement.”
With the Metro yet to become a full-fledged mode of transport, suburban rail will be of great help to commuters and will help ease road taffic.
Pranav Jha, a supporter of the suburban rail project, said, “We have seen these kinds of approvals in the past as well. But we have not witnessed any substantial development. So, I’m skeptical about the latest development. Both the state and Railways need to join hands to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).”
Experts claim the Ministry of Railways has been meting out step-motherly treatment to Bengaluru with regard to the suburban rail project. The state government had asked for land from the Railways for the project to which they clearly did not show any interest. Again, while Railways has cited fund issues, it did not hesitate to allot `636 crore for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project III for extended suburbs.