BENGALURU: A modified suburban rail outside the city that would augment the Metro rail network has been proposed by Bengaluru Development Minister K J George.
Speaking at an interactive session on ‘Transportation Challenges in Bangalore’, George said a review of the suburban rail project was held with Railway and Metro officials yesterday. “The proposal right now is to connect Tumakuru to Yeshwantpur, Whitefield to Byappanahalli and Mandya to Kengeri,” he said.
“This would work out to Rs 1,000 crore and can be considered Phase-I of Suburban Rail.” The originally proposed suburban rail project worked out to Rs 9,000 crore, he said.
Yeshwantpur and Byappanahalli are presently covered by Metro Phase-I while Kengeri will be covered under Metro Phase-II.
The Railway Ministry has agreed to fund 50 per cent of the Rs 1,000-crore project while the state would fund 50 per cent of the cost, he added.
Later, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar, said, “The Suburban Rail Project for the city has been spoken about since 1996. I am embarrassed to even speak about it. Many budgets have been passed after that.”
Speaking of a recent discussion with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu about the project, the Minister said, “Bengaluru will get its suburban rail this time in the budget. We are going to have it.”
Ananth Kumar said that five radial train routes connect Bengaluru to Tumakuru, Yelahanka, Bangarpet, Hosur and Mandya. “They can be electrified and automatic signalling provided with platforms at various distances. We can have a Mumbai-like local rail service for Bengaluru.” According to officials, except Hosur, all the points have a double line while Hosur and Tumakuru do not have any electrification.
Stating that he was against the High Speed Rail network planned between Minsk Square and Bengaluru International Airport, the Minister said he was in favour of multi-pointed connectivity to BIAL: a rail link to airport, a Metro link to airport and an alternative route from Nagwara to the airport.