With CCEA approval pending, suburban rail misses train

With CCEA approval pending, suburban rail misses train

Activists fear the project may be delayed again. (Credit: DH Photo)

The South Western Railway’s ‘Pink Book’ released on Wednesday came as a major setback for activists waiting for a push for the suburban rail project, which has once again failed to take off from the paper.

The book, which gives details of the sanctioned lines and grants, shows the project cost of suburban rail at Rs 23,093, instead of the revised rate of Rs 18,600 crore. The token grant of Rs 1 crore has been retained.

Considering that the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) was yet to give its approval for the suburban rail project, activists feared that the state may have to wait for yet another year to get things moving on the ground.

Urban Transport activist Sanjeev Dyamannavar noted that though there is a possibility of a supplementary sanction for the project in case it gets the necessary approval at the Centre, there is no certainty that work will begin.

“We can only hope that the Centre understands the urgency of the project. After the approvals at the Centre, K-RIDE (the special purpose vehicle) has to approach the state for more clearances. Delay in every stage will push the project further away from reality,” he said.

Srinivas Alavilli of the Citizens for Bengaluru said citizens need an honest answer from members of Parliaments from Bengaluru, who celebrated the Budget announcement.
“We need to know what is blocking the approval? If we don’t get answers by asking, we have to make our questions heard loudly on the streets. Karnataka has always got the worst treatment from the railways. Despite having a minister from Karnataka and worst traffic in the world, the 36-year-old project is still not approved,” he said.

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