BENGALURU: Minister of State for Railways Suresh C Angadi on Wednesday expressed confidence that the suburban rail project will take off at the earliest. “We are looking at the Expanded Board of Railways clearing it before October 25,” he said. A top official said the expanded board involves members of Niti Aayog and the Department of Planning and Statistics.
Angadi, however, refused to be drawn into a timeline over the commencement of the suburban project.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan said he would press for handing over the Hosur-Baiyappanahalli doubling project back to the Railways from the Karnataka Rail Infrastructure Development Enterprises (K-RIDE), a joint venture between the state and the Central governments. The project was handed over to K-RIDE just two months ago.
The Rs 376-crore project will help lakhs of people commuting to the IT corridors of Electronics City, Whitefield and other neighbouring areas. Mohan and Angadi had an informal meeting with newspersons at Rail House on Wednesday.
Mohan’s remark was in response to a query that the project could face delays if K-RIDE was entrusted with it. Explaining this, a top railway official said that K-RIDE is not equipped enough to take up such a big project and added that its focus should be on the suburban rail project instead.
A top railway official, however, said it would not be right to take it away from K-RIDE at this point. “It has been entrusted to K-RIDE only on the request of the state and was cleared by the Railway Board too. Railways was swamped with other projects and K-RIDE could implement it quicker,” a top official said.
“Moreover, K-RIDE would begin laying infrastructure of the suburban rail for Baiyappanahalli almost at the same spot where the doubling project may come up. It would be tough for two departments to be doing it simultaneously,” he added.
Angadi expressed confidence that the Baiyappanahalli Second Coaching Terminal will become operational by March 2020.