BENGALURU: The feasibility report on setting up a dedicated suburban rail project for the city will be submitted by engineering consultancy firm, Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) by November-end, said General Manager of South Western Railway Zone Ajay Kumar Singh.Singh, who assumed charge as the new GM of SWR at Hubballi last week, was in the city this weekend to take stock of progress of various railway projects pertaining to the State, particularly Bengaluru.
Speaking to The New Indian Express on Sunday, Singh said, "RITES was given a six-month period to complete the report in May. It was supposed to be handed over by end of October. They have now sought one more month time to complete it and the report will be handed over to us by the end of this month."
The `17,000-crore suburban project is planned for 161 km. RITES has been entrusted with the job of assessing the report submitted by SWR on 142 km of new route proposed, which includes 72 km of elevated corridor. Another 19 km of rail lines being doubled between Banaswadi and Hebbal and Channapatna and Karmelaram via Baiyappanahalli will be incorporated into the suburban project later. RITES will be paid `10 crore for preparation of the report, said a top railway official.
Asked about the reasons for the delay, the GM said, "RITES wanted to go in detail about some technical issues involved. The delay is not a very big thing bearing in mind this is a very big project."
Executive Director of RITES, New Delhi, H I Chaudhary, who was in Bengaluru, confirmed to TNIE the report would be submitted this month-end. Asked if major changes have been proposed, he said, "We are still in the process of assessing it."
SWR will hand over the report to the Railway Board for approval, the GM said. "When the Railway Board okays it, it will be submitted to the state for consideration. A special purpose vehicle is being formed both by state and Railways to implement the suburban project," said Chief Administrative Officer, Constructions, SWR, K C Swami. Singh, also said the first train will roll out of the Baiyappannahalli Third Coaching Terminal in June next year. "When the terminal is ready, it will help in decongesting the KSR railway station as a number of trains can be shifted from there," he said.