Commuter rail for the city inches closer to reality with both the Union and state governments giving in-principle approvals for the project.
While Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said on Monday that the Union Government has given an in-principle approval for the project, a senior official from the state told Express: “The Congress government in the state has cleared preparation of a detailed project report for the system.’’
The BJP government had already accorded permission to prepare the DPR after Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) prepared a feasibility study for the project and submitted it to the Directorate of Urban Land Transport in 2012.
In its first phase, the project provides train services to Bangarpet, Tumkur and Mandya. According to the RITES feasibility report, Phase 1(A) includes activities for a commuter rail system that can be completed immediately. These will be procurement of five mainline electric multiple unit (MEMU) rakes, making the Bangalore City to Cantonment section a twin single line system and Cantonment to Byappanahalli automatic signalling, development of four pit lines at Byappanahalli and two additional pit lines at Yeshwantpur.
Twenty-four services can be run with these facilities, according to the study, generating four lakh commuter trips at the end of Phase 1(A). The investment was estimated to be around `173 crore for this.
The project will also include the setting up of a special purpose vehicle to manage the project.