BENGALURU: Expressing deep anguish over the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) ordering that the city’s suburban rail project be reworked, representatives of 35 citizen groups met Divisional Railway Manager A K Verma and submitted a letter to him, to be sent to the Union Railway Minister and PMO. The participants demanded the withdrawal of the PMO’s directive and demanded that the project be implemented immediately.
A report in TNIE on May 18 said the PMO had asked that the detailed project report of the suburban rail be reworked, a move that would further delay the project. Speaking to TNIE, co-founder of Citizens For Bengaluru Srinivas Alavilli, who was leading the delegation, said, “The PMO’s decision is devastating. It feels like a betrayal for Bengaluru. The lack of political alignment between the Centre and the state has landed the city on the losing end.”
The letter, a copy of which has also been sent to the Chief Secretary, said, “We demand that the PMO withdraw the new directions immediately and clear all impediments for the immediate commencement and completion of the project. “
The letter claimed that all the project’s hurdles were cleared in February 2019 following many petitions and appeals, feasibility studies, and massive citizen demands (#ChukuBukuBeku in December 2016 and #ModaluTrainBeku in August 2018), that had put enormous pressure on both the state and the Centre. The DRM told TNIE that he would send the letter to Bengaluru Division’s headquarters in Hubballi.