'Rlys should take up Hosur-Channasandra doubling work'

P C Mohan

Handing the state government the doubling of Hosur and Channasandra lines was a mistake, BJP MP P C Mohan told the Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi on Wednesday.

At a discussion here, the MP representing Bangalore Central said the railways should instead take on the projects and complete them.

Doubling the 21.7-kilometre Yashwantpur-Channasandra line and the 48-kilometre Byappanahalli-Hosur tracks were planned to enhance the existing rail infrastructure to introduce commuter trains to the IT corridor in the city’s eastern parts. The South Western Railways (SWR) had even called for a tender for the Hosur line.

But the Rs 810 crore-worth projects were given to the state government, which declined to foot the 50% cost. In the end, the Railway Board relented and assigned the work to the Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka), Limited or K-RIDE.

Mohan told the minister during the discussion that delaying the project would tantamount to missing a chance to pick low-hanging fruit.

“K-RIDE has the huge task of implementing the suburban rail project. Why take up additional work at this juncture? I will move a formal proposal asking the railways to expedite the project,” Mohan said.

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi threw up a surprise by saying the suburban rail project could be completed in a year.

When a reporter pointed to him that the 148.17-kilometre line with an estimated cost of Rs 18,621 crore would require a herculean effort to complete, the minister responded by saying the engineers are capable.

“Our engineers are capable. They just require passion. They can build it in one year,” Angadi said.

The minister said the Centre would approve the revised detailed project report — modified under its direction — in a month or two.

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