Now, state govt mulls suburban rail Phase 2

The plan is to extend four lines from the present terminal points at Heelalige to Hosur, Kengeri to Ramnagaram, Rajanukuknte to Doddaballapur and Whitefield to Bangarpet. DH file photo

A day after the chief minister promised that the foundation stone for the suburban rail project would be laid in a month, officials on Friday mulled over proposing Phase 2 of the project with an extension of the four corridors to towns further away from Bengaluru.

Sources said Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar held a meeting of senior officials where it was decided to push for the extension of the network.

“The proposal will not affect the ongoing process but will add to it. The plan is to extend four lines from the present terminal points at Heelalige to Hosur, Kengeri to Ramnagaram, Rajanukuknte to Doddaballapur and Whitefield to Bangarpet, which will add about 130 km to the network,” the source said.

The draft feasibility report prepared by the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) proposes a 160.5 km suburban rail network at a cost of Rs 17,147.20 crore (excluding taxes) and suggests a 5 km line to the airport from Chikkajala. There are four corridors connecting areas in five different directions outside Bengaluru.

“The idea of including the underground line to airport, which may cost more than Rs 1,500 crore, was also discussed.

The RITES report only makes a suggestion on the line and including it in the corridor has been left to the two parties,” the source said.

While the suburban rail corridor connects Nelamangala, officials discussed the possibility of extending the line from Soldevanahalli (part of Nelamangala line) to Tumkur.

“The state government will include the Phase 2 proposal in its comment on the draft feasibility report. However, a meeting will be held with officials from the South Western Railway on January 2 where a decision will be taken on the details of Phase 2 network,” a senior official said.

Including the Tumakuru and Airport line, the Phase 2 network may cross 170 km in length and together with the 160 km corridor in Phase 1, officials felt that it would be able to better serve the needs of commuters.

Waiting for GoK move: Rlys

The South Western Railway sent out a release on Friday stating that it was still waiting for the state government’s reply to some of its proposals regarding the suburban rail project.

Giving details of Thursday’s meeting between Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, the release said the state government promised to give all necessary clearances at the earliest.

“The railway minister stated that the state government should work expeditiously in giving clearance and agree for grant of higher FSI (floor space index), TDR (transferable development rights) etc. to fund railway’s share of the project (sic),” the release said.

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Now, state govt mulls suburban rail Phase 2

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