Karnataka CM takes steps to expedite Railway projects in the State, Suburban Rail SPV within a month

BANGALORE: The state government on Wednesday said a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for implementing the suburban railway project would be formed within a month.

At a high-level meeting with officials from urban development department, South Western Railways (SWR) as well as V K Saraswat of Niti Ayog, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said steps would be taken to expedite pending railway projects in the state.

“The state government has already sanctioned Rs 350 crore for the SPV and deposited Rs 100 crore with the railways. The railways will have 49% share in SPV while the state government will have the majority share of 51%,” the chief minister’s office said.

Besides making effective utilisation of 444 km of railway network within Bengaluru, the railways has proposed to extend the network and upgrade it with facilities like automatic signalling and electrification.

The railways told the state government that 15 trains have been deployed for suburban rail services. Officials said 116 new trains can be introduced at a cost of Rs 1,745 crore.

SWR General Manager A K Gupta said the railways will be ready with the detailed project report for the 161 km suburban railway network by January.

“Indian Railways has agreed to Karnataka’s proposal for sharing 50% of the project cost. The DPRs will come in January,” he said.