BANGALORE: In a major push for a suburban railway network in the city, the state government recently sent a directive to the department of urban land transport (DULT) to expedite the work regarding the same, and has asked it to follow it up with the South Western Railways.
Meanwhile, the Baiyapanahalli MEMU maintenance shade is expected to be completed within 8 to 10 months, and activists demanding a robust railway network that will augment the city’s commuting expect that by March 2018 the work will be completed.
A senior DULT official said, “We have started the work for the Baiyappanahalli Mainline Multiple Electric Unit (MEMU) shade and it is progressing fast. Also the tenders for getting 15 new MEMU rakes for the suburban railway are being finalised and already the urban development department has sanctioned 80 per cent of the amount required for the same.”
Soon work will also start on the Rs 4 crore automatic signaling that will be installed to facilitate efficient movement of trains on the KR Puram line. Also there is a proposal of converting more passenger trains into MEMU trains, which will help facilitate passenger movement, augmenting the needs of the suburban railway commuters on the Mysore, Chennai and Byrasandra line. Decision on this is still pending with the Railways.
Also the Railways has completed almost 60 percent of its work on doubling of tracks and laying electricity poles for electrification of the stretch between Yelahanka Penukonda (120.53 km) line, as Rs 120 crore was allocated by the railway ministry in February this year to expedite the work.
Also work has started towards the electrification of Banaswadi Hosur Line and Chikbanavara Tumkur Hubbali lines after Rs 152.83 crore and 551.6 crore was allocated for the same in the railway budget The work is going on at a rapid pace, and senior railway officials said that if there were no delays it might take another 10 months to complete the line.
The completion of the project would help passengers who are vying for the suburban railway network. Sanjeev V Dyamannavar from Praja RAAG, an advocacy group that has been pushing for suburban rail, said, “It is good to see that the state government is finally taking a pro-active role in implementation of the suburban railway project, but the railway ministry should also show interest.”