BENGALURU: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said the Railways was considering building half of the proposed Bengaluru’s suburban rail network as an elevated corridor. He also announced that the Centre was willing to bring down the state’s funding to 50% from the 80% share proposed in the suburban rail policy for the country. At a closed-door discussion held with Union ministers and top railway officials after inspecting the Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna railway station, Goyal said that due to acute problem of land, an elevated transport service is being contemplated.
A comprehensive plan has been developed by consultancy firm RITES with land maps from ISRO, the minister said. “The project envisages a suburban network of 160 km, of which 50 per cent will be an elevated corridor,” he informed. Sources said they were not clear about which sections of the 160-km suburban network will be elevated. “The concept has been readied within a span of four months and submitted to the Railway Board,” a source said. “Wherever we have existing railway lines, we will lay a second track alongside. Where there is no land available, the rail tracks will be put up on an elevated route by using piers and carried out exactly like Metro’s elevated corridor. Double tracks will be laid on the piers,” source added.
Calling for flexibility from the state government, the Railway Minister said, “The project will be implemented and taken to its logical conclusion if the state government agrees to provide five times the Floor Space Index under the Transit Orient Development scheme.”Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar called for a complete integrated transport system for Bengaluru. “The suburban service will be a great boon for offloading traffic density on the road,” Ananth Kumar added.
Approved Suburban Rail Network
Phase 1(A) of the suburban rail project, estimated to cost K2,427 crore, and approved by the Railway Board in July 2017 proposes the following routes
Bengaluru-Kempe Gowda International airport with connectivity from Yesvantpur railway station being explored.