No 'track' of suburban railway project

It has been three months since the much-awaited suburban railway project was announced for the City in the Railway Budget.

However, both State government and the Railway Board are sitting over the project with not a single meeting being held so far.

People in the City and suburbs had high hopes on the project as immediate past Railway minister Mallikarjuna Kharge and incumbent Minister D V Sadananda Gowda belong to the State.

However, till now no initiative has been taken either by the Railway Board or by the State government on the ambitious project which will benefit lakhs of commuters.

In fact, the South Western Railways had, in March this year, wrote to the Railway Board for official approval and implementation of the project. But so far no reply has been sent by the board.

Even Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorke had written to the railway minister in this regard.

In a reply to an RTI query filed by Sanjeev V Dyamannavar on the status of the project, the Railway Ministry has stated that they did receive the proposal and a formal reply had not been sent.

The reply stated that the project was still under examination as there were a lot of missing links in the RITES report about the future roads/metros along the alignment, elimination of level crossings, elimination of road over bridges/ rail under bridge/ merging of LC gates etc.

The reply further states that the Ministry of Railways has sanctioned a feasibility study to explore the possibility of enhancing Indian Railway network for running suburban services on the existing lines in Bangalore area.

And on finalisation of the study report, suitable action shall be considered by the Railways, it added.

Officials in the Railways said it was still a long way to go before the project gets final nod and comes to form.

Sources said that another reason for lack of initiative was the lack of funds with the Railways which was not only hampering this project but others in the State.

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