SWR seeks to take over double 2 city rail lines project

Now, SWR seeks to take over project to double 2 city rail lines

The South Western Railway has written to the Railway Board seeking to take over the doubling of Baiyappanahalli-Hosur (48 km) and Channasandra-Yeshwantpur (21.7 km) lines from the state government, whose U-turns have delayed the project for more than a year. 

Both the lines are crucial as they will enable the running of more local trains and ensure a smooth operation of long-distance trains. Although tenders for the Hosur and Channasandra lines were called way back in October and November 2018, respectively, the bidding process was put off after the state government went back on its word to share half of the project cost of Rs 690 crore. The railways had set a 2021 deadline for doubling the lines. 

An official said the Urban Development Department had written to the railways stating that the project would be taken up by K-RIDE with 20% of equity each from the state and the Centre while the remaining 60% of funds were to be raised through loans. "The idea was to minimise capital investment," the official added. 

The Railway Board later handed over the project to the state government but the work did not take off as K-RIDE is yet to evolve as a project implementation agency due to a lack of manpower. 

In yet another U-turn, although a positive one, Chief Minister Yediyurappa announced in the budget that the state would share half of the project cost, reviving hopes that the project may see the light of day. 

Another official, however, noted that the Railway Board has to clear the project. "We have written to the board seeking to take over the project. The government's stance will definitely help the process," the official added. 

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