'B'luru suburban rail project to be completed in 3 yrs'

Bengaluru suburban rail project will be completed in 3 years: CM B S Yediyurappa

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. (PTI Photo)

A full-fledged suburban rail network of 148 km will be completed in the next three years at a cost of Rs 18,600 crore, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said.

A day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated the government's approval for the project, the chief minister addressed a press conference with Minister of Railways Suresh Angadi and MPs from Bengaluru.

Also read — Budget approval for suburban rail: Officials to wait for pink book

"It is a long-pending project and a dream of the late BJP leader Ananth Kumar. The project will be taken up on priority and will be completed within three years," he said. The suburban rail in Bengaluru, he said, will have air-conditioned coaches and provide service from 5 am to 12 am.

This is not the first time the Centre has approved the project. The Union Budget for the year 2018-19 had also approved the project at a cost of Rs 17,000 crore. The cost has now gone up by Rs 1,600 crore. In the past two years, the detailed project report was revised to cut the cost and remove the proposed railway lines that clashed with the metro network. The differences between the then coalition government and the Centre are also said to have contributed to the delay.

To a question on the project getting next level of approval from Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), both MoS Railways Suresh Angadi and Bangalore Central MP P C Mohan sought to reassure that they will work to get the central funding. 

When asked for a tentative date for the foundation laying ceremony, Revenue Minister R Ashok, who was also present, said he could only say "soon".

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