Railway Minister Piyush Goyal optimistic about suburban rail. Expresses confidence of taking the project to logical end.
BANGALORE: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday inspected the Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna railway station in Bengaluru. Union Minister Ananth Kumar was also present during the time of inspection. Talking to media, Goyal said, “I attended a conference with Ananth Kumar and discussed on developing a 160 km long network, which will be World-class Bengaluru suburban network, with an investment of Rs. 12,000 crore. I appeal the state government to allow 50 percent transit oriented development (TOD policy) and approve five FSIs and the rest 50 percent will be spending by the Central Government to initiate and complete the plan.” The Railway Minister interacted with the gangmen/pointmens and the passengers present at the station and asked them their inconvenience to solve the issues.
After the inspection, Piyush Goyal expressed confidence of taking the suburban railway project to its logical conclusion. Bengalureans have been hoping for a suburban rail on the lines of the one in Mumbai to de-congest the city, but the project has remained on paper for over two decades.
The minister said that if the State government provides five floor space-index (transit oriented development) the proposed suburban network can be completed with the cost borne equally by the State government and the Railways. He is ready to reduce the State government’s share from 80% as proposed earlier to 50%.
The minister said, “A comprehensive plan has prepared to build a suburban network 160 kilometres in Bengaluru. Half of the proposed railway line will be built at the ground level and the remaining as an elevated corridor. We are confident of clearing the decks to implement this project. There is a need to integrate the railway line with metro stations, which help passengers travel in either mode of transport. We need to connect the international airport, and Electronics City and Whitefield, which will help Bengalureans.”
He added that there is a proposal to develop major railway stations around the city. Union Minister Ananth Kumar, who accompanied Goyal during his visit, said, “the seven radial lines which lead to Kengeri, Yelahanka, Baiyappanahalli and other places could be doubled and electrified to operate suburban trains. There is a need to integrate metro stations at various points to de-congest the city.
RITES, which had undertaken a study, had reported that a suburban railway network on the lines of the one in Mumbai will help 35 lakh passengers in Bengaluru, and that is the only way out to de-congest the city.”