BENGALURU: The Whitefield to Banaswadi suburban DEMU service announced by MP PC Mohan is facing criticism from many for its route and timings, while also receiving a favourable response from others. The train is set to start from Whitefield at 7.50am and reach Banaswadi at 8.30am. In the evening, it will leave from Banaswadi at 6.25pm and reach Whitefield at 7.20pm, passing by Hoodi, KR Puram and Baiyappanahalli enroute.
Experts and commuters say there are few takers who will come from Whitefield to Banaswadi in the morning, as most offices are in the IT corridor in and around Whitefield. Rail enthusiast Suhas Narayan Murthy said, “There are around 30 trains that stop at Whitefield and Hoodi already. This DEMU service will add to the congestion there. Instead of terminating the service at Banaswadi in the morning, South Western Railway could have extended it to Hebbal, Yeshwanthpur or Yelahanka. There are not many people who will use the service from Banaswadi area.” He added that the train is more likely to help metro commuters who travel from Whitefield towards the city since they can get off the train and take the Metro from Baiyappanahalli.
Techie Namratha Nayak said, “I live in Bansaswadi and travel to Whitefield every day to work. The train route is in the exact opposite direction. Who travels to Banaswadi in the morning from Whitefield? The reverse direction would have been useful. Moreover, software employees need trains from Whitefield at 6pm to head home.”
A few transport experts from advocacy group Praja RAAG say the introduction of the service is not entirely bad, just ill-timed. Srinidhi Sampath, transport expert from the group said, “It has started with two trips and they need to add more. It is evident that this route caters to metro commuters rather than suburban ones. To go via Majestic instead of terminating the train at Banaswadi, would have been a better decision. Now, commuters have to get off and take the metro which is more expensive and slower than the train. We also need more trains from Whitefield towards the city, in the evening, when employees are done with work.”
Sanjeev V Dyamannavar, also from Praja RAAG opined that this service will help non-techie office goers. “We must think of those working in government offices, non-software jobs and students who work and study in Banaswadi in the morning. This service will benefit them. In addition, when the Baiyappanahalli coaching terminal is up and running in May or June this year, this train will connect commuters to the terminal as well. However, extending this service to Hebbal will ensure more patronage.”Commuters and experts shared a common concern about the need for trains from Whitefield towards the city side post 6pm.
Whitefield - 7.50am