After a long gap, the proposed Baiyyappanahalli railway station, which is to be developed into a world-class one, has inched one step closer to reality with the Railway Board deciding on a Belgium-based consultancy service for the preparation of a detailed project report.
The Railways has a long-standing proposal to develop a world-class railway station at Baiyyappanahalli on the public-private-partnership model. As of now, however, the Baiyyappanahalli station is only a coach terminus with two operational pit lines. The State government has offered the required land for the project. Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday instructed BBMP officials to expedite the acquisition of land, with respect to Binny Mills for the expansion of the Bangalore City railway station.
“The existing platforms are clogged and the facilities at the station have to be expanded and thus the land has to be acquired at the earliest,” he said.
Asked about the ongoing Metro work in the City and starting commuter rail services, Kharge said that it was a State subject. “But, wherever the Railway Ministry’s help is required, we will be more than ready,” he told reporters.
The minister admitted that the Railways have had a deficit of Rs 3,000 crore in the past six months. “However, we are sure to make up for the deficit in the next month. We will be tightening the noose around the ticketless travelling. Also, there will be a parity between fuel cost and fares,” he said.
Speaking at the sidelines of a foundation-stone-laying ceremony for a road overbridge at Allalasandra and the commissioning of road underbridge near the Judicial Layout, Kharge said: “I want all the works to be expedited and completed within a year — although the work is likely to take 18 months.”
While both the works were sanctioned in 2009-10, the combined cost of the two projects is Rs 30.19 crores which is being shared by the Railways and the BBMP. Prior to this, he inaugurated a new station building, waiting rooms, a VIP room on platform number 1 and a food plaza on platform number 6 at Yeshwantpur railway Station.
Kharge added that the much-awaited train link between Chikkaballapur and Kolar will be inaugurated on November 8 and the train link between Kadur-Chikmagalur will be opened in the first week of November.
“The train links between Bidar-Bangalore, Hubli-Gulbarga, Hubli-Hyderabad, Hubli-Mumbai, Shimoga-Mysore will also be taken up on priority basis just as the Bangalore-Tumkur rail link,” he said. He said that 52 railway overbridges have to be constructed across the State, out of which work has already begin on 16. Work on the remaining will start in an year.