JV for Bangalore Suburban Rail in a few months; Faster Trains to Mysore, Hubli

Bengaluru Railway station renamed as Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna station

Bangalore: The railway ministry will leverage the Centre-state partnership to improve infrastructure across the country.

Speaking at the ceremony to rename City railway station as Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna station, railway minister Suresh Prabhu said infrastructure will be developed to step up construction and increase speed of trains using technology, private partnerships and joint ventures between the state and Centre,

Over the next few months, joint ventures will be operationalized to improve railway connectivity across the state and decongest Bengaluru with the help of suburban rail. “We are building about 7km of tracks daily. By using drones, geospatial technology and others, we hope to increase this to 19km,” the minister said.

“Bengaluru requires a huge infrastructure push, especially in terms of modern transportation. We are actively looking at implementing the suburban rail project and over the next few months, we will start another joint venture towards implementing this,” he said. The ministry checking the feasibility of a semi high-speed rail link between Bengaluru and Mysuru/Hubballi.

Union minister for chemicals and fertiliser Ananth Kumar said, “The Hubballi-Bengaluru train journey takes 7.5 hours now. This can be reduced to 4.5 hours once the line is doubled and electrified. Along with doubling work, electrification can begin simultaneously.” Chief minister Siddaramaiah said the Bengaluru-Mysuru double line will be completed by October and Bengaluru-Hassan line by December.

While central and state leaders cutting across party lines shared the stage during the ceremony, it was the handshake between rivals Siddaramaiah and former PM HD Deve Gowda that grabbed eyeballs.

“When it comes to Karnataka’s development, state leaders bury their differences, be it over language, culture, politics or personal beliefs,” Ananth Kumar remarked.

Tourist Hubs: An ongoing survey of new railway tracks to connect tourist hubs such as Hassan, Sringeri, Halebidu and Shivamogga will be completed soon, he said.

The railway minister declared that his ministry would keep its promise on starting a suburban train service in Bengaluru. “We have already discussed the matter with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. We will definitely keep our promise,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Siddaramaiah said there was no dearth of funds for railway projects in Karnataka and the government was ready to provide land.

Drawing the railway minister’s attention to Karnataka’s poor railway network, the chief minister urged him to prioritise sanctioning new railway lines in the state. Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda urged the chief minister to allot land for the railway track between Bengaluru and Hassan.

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