BENGALURU: The State budget has remained mum on a big move announced in the previous State budget to redress the traffic woes of Bengaluru — the 42-km Light Rail Transit System Project. It was meant to serve as a feeder rail to the Metro rail and supplement the City’s bus transport system.
The project got cabinet approval on September 1 last year and the urban development had been tasked with working out modalities to mobilise resources for it.
Proposed in 2007, various governments were sluggish about taking it forward. The cost has shot up from `5,600 crore then to `11,000 crore in 2016.
The detailed project report is ready but it has remained at that. LRT is expected to be cheaper than the Metro rail. The proposed route for the LRT is from J P Nagar to Hebbal on Outer Ring Road for 31.3 km and Magadi Road Toll gate (24 stations) to Peripheral Ring Road (11 stations) for a 10.6 km distance. Light rail coaches are similar to Metro coaches but are much lighter.
Speaking to Express, Transportation expert M N Srihari said, “I would call last year’s announcement as just an election gimmick. Why has it not made any progress.”
Even the route proposed for it is not well thought out. “Areas near the Old Airport Road, New Airport, ITPL and Electronic City are the really congested parts in the City and the proposal should have covered these parts.” “LRT system has proved effective in Bangkok. They can transport 18,000 to 20,000 commuters in an hour. However, Mono Rail is much more effective and it should have have been given priority,” he said. Mono Rail can run either underground or even above the ground. It involves small piers on which rectangular concrete beams rest.
“Vehicles with rubber tyres can run on them and it can transport 15,000 commuters per hour,” he added.