BENGALURU: Did you know the Railways can connect city residents to the new airport? At present, it can run a few new trains till Devanahalli from Channasandra railway station in east Bengaluru.
Though the traffic department and traffic experts say that it will take a great burden off the city streets, but the railway officials sound unenthusiastic.
Sanjiv Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), SWR, tells City Express that at present the Railways can run a few trains towards Devahahalli but it may not be sustainable in the long run. “Later, we may not be able to provide the passenger services because we see a massive demand for goods transportation on this route,” he says. “Personally, I don’t think this will be a good plan because we don’t have adequate connectivity or feeder services from both stations.”
City Traffic Department says it will provide a big relief and ease airport traffic. “If we have better rail connectivity to various parts of the city by developing the existing tracks, it can definitely reduce the traffic chaos,” says R Hithendra, Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic. “People will prefer to use the rail because it will save time and maybe it could be easier on the pocket. If the railways can develop their existing lines from KSR Majestic till Channasandra, it will a big help.”
The Railways need not worry about the feeder services. The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation will extend their support to the railways if they approach for them for the project. “Usually we give support to such projects by giving feeder services,” says Ekroop Caur, BMTC, Managing Director. “Once we receive a formal request, we can consider providing necessary support... It won’t eat into ‘Vayu Vajra’ Services’ revenue.”
Activists and traffic experts also believe that rail connectivity could be the answer. “We can solve this traffic snarl without introducing more feeder services,” says MN Sreehari, traffic advisor to the government, and suggests introducing a new station at Yechagahalli, which is very near to the airport. “We can have few feeder services from there”.
Civic activists have been demanding this for a few years no. “The state govt has to forward the request to the Railways,” says Sreehari, “but they are not showing any interest.”
“We can introduce rail connectivity to airport from various stations across the city. Common people prefer public transportation to cars.
The success of BMTC’s ‘Vayu Vajra’ Services is proof of that. Instead of the gigantic steel flyover, the government should try such projects,” says Srinivas Alavilli, an activist from Citizens for Bengaluru and Flyover Beda protest.