BENGALURU: Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya met Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi on Monday, and urged them to approve the suburban rail project for Bengaluru during a crucial meeting to be held on Wednesday. The Extended Board Railway (EBR) meeting, which is yet to approve the Rs 16,500 crore project, that will runs across four corridors covering 148 km, will be held in New Delhi on October 30.
“One of the solutions to Bengaluru’s traffic problems is this project and the city has been waiting for a suburban network line for more than three decades,” an official statement from the MP’s office quoted him telling Kant. The CEO assured people that he would support the project in the upcoming meeting, the statement added.
Surya said, “I considered it my duty to put forth the plight of commuters before NITI Aayog and the Union Minister.”
Later, the MP also met Goyal and sought his support to clear the project. The Railway Minister too has promised positive action, the statement said.
The Suburban Railway Project was sanctioned at an initial cost of Rs 16,500 crore in February this year. However, it faced hurdles when the Union Government asked for a revised Detailed Project Report (DPR). “I’m thankful to the Yediyurappa government in Karnataka for approving the revised DPR in August soon after coming to power,” Surya said in a statement.
“The Railway Ministry subsequently gave its nod for the project in September and the file has been sent for the consideration of the NITI Aayog and Ministry of Finance,” he added.
Earlier, on Saturday, the MP spoke to Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and stressed that the sanctioning of the project was crucial to tackle the city’s mobility crisis. Surya had also asked for the approval of Outer Ring Road (Phase 2A) and Airport Line (Phase 2B) of Namma Metro. The two lines, which are expected to have a ridership of 7.5 lakh commuters in 2025, will serve as the nerve centre for Bengaluru’s and India’s economic growth, he had tweeted.
“Firms in ORR account for 32% of our IT revenue. But this 17 km corridor is stuck at 4kmph with road transport functioning beyond saturation level,” he added.