BENGALURU: Decades after it was first proposed, the 148-km suburban rail project for Bengaluru is finally on track. Through the day on Monday, citizen activist groups and citizens tweeted with hashtags #ChukuBukuBeku, #BengaluruSuburbanTrain explaining how suburban trains can bring down the #Bangaloretraffic. The posts went on non-stop. And by evening, they got the cheering news of the Extended Board of Railways (EBR) clearing the Rs 15,990-crore dedicated Suburban Rail Project for the City. The project, with a deadline of 2025, needs to be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs before it takes off. A senior railway official said that the note could be completed within a month’s time.
Bengaluru Central MP P C Mohan tweeted: “Great news for Bengaluru: The Extended Railway Board met today & has given clearance #Bengaluru #SubUrbanRail project. I’m extremely grateful to Railway Minister @PiyushGoyal and @SureshAngadi_ for making Bengaluru’s dream a reality!”.
It was first mooted in 1983 by the Southern Railway.
Citizens too erupted in joy and tweeted their happiness. @anandagundurao said “This is great news for Bengaluru. Thanks for the commendable effort by all of you. Please ensure a time-bound plan for execution with budgetary sanctions in place. Place milestones with timeframe on public space for everyone to see the progress and applaud #BENGALURUSUBURBANTRAINFINALLY”.
The suburban project encompasses four corridors. It has long been touted as an everlasting solution to the City’s traffic woes. A senior Railway official, who was present at the meet, told TNIE, “Since members of Niti Aayog were also present in the 12-member group today along with representatives from the Statistics and Programme Implementation department, there is only one more step to be taken. The Ministry of Railways now needs to prepare a Cabinet Note and place it before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. We expect it to take a month because of the processes involved and we can then begin the process of project implementation.”
The feasibility study report submitted by RITES had projected a daily ridership of 9.84 lakh in 2025, 13.41 lakh in 2031 and 17.6 lakh in 2041. It has also specified a Peak Hour Peak Direction Traffic of 34,872 passengers in 2025 rising to 56,809 per hour in 2041.
Urban transportation expert M N Srihari said that at least 15% to 20% of the vehicular traffic in the City would vanish when it is in place, which would make a significant impact. “Every day, we have people from Tumakuru, Doddaballapur, Ramanagara, Mandya and other areas bordering Bengaluru travelling to the City. A robust suburban rail network will take off much of this burden on the City’s roads. The Metro has already taken off a significant load,” he said.
Project will cover 4 corridors
KSR (B’luru City)-Yesvantpur-Yelahanka-Devanahalli-KIA
Baiyappanahalli-Banaswadi-Lottegehalli-Whitefield-Yesvantpur-Chikkabanavara (25.01 km)
Kengeri-Cantonment-Whitefield (35.52 km)
Heelalige-Baiyappanahalli-Channasandra-Yelahanka-Rajanakunte (46.24 km)