Railways not doing enough on suburban rail, say activists

Railways not doing enough on suburban rail, say activists

Railways not doing enough on suburban rail, say activists

Even as Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday admitted that suburban rail project has been delayed due to some technical issues, activists campaigning for the project say the railwayshas failed to execute even the basic works.

Sources in South Western Railway said these were mainly capacity constraints at railway stations. “Key stations in the suburban railway network, including the KSR station at Majestic area, are already saturated. They can’t take anymore trains. Without connecting Majestic, a suburban rail network cannot work,” they said.

However, activists from Citizens for Bengaluru and PrajaRAAG, who suggested suburban rail as the best alternative to city’s traffic snarls in view of rising vehicle population, termed the minister’s claim a ruse.

“The state government has done its part by sanctioning Rs 345 crore but the railways has failed to do anything on its part. The railwayshas failed to take any initiative on the much-needed automatic signalling system between KSR and Whitefield section,” said Urban Transport Expert Sanjeev Dyamannavar of PrajaRAAG.

Railway officials believe that they need more tracks between major hubs like Majestic, Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield. “We need more tracks as running additional trains on existing track may disrupt the schedule of other trains,” they said.

Dyamannavar, however, questioned why they can’t run DEMU or MEMU trains from Yeshwantpur to whitefield, Nelamangala and Baiyyappanahalli. “There are trains running at wrong times in many sections. For example, the KSR Bengaluru-Ramangaram train leaves Majestic at 5.30 am. This is the time when people come to the city but the train is running in the opposite direction,” he said.

He said converting Tumakuru-Bengaluru passenger into a DEMU train will save about 20 minutes needed to changing the locomotive.

Srinivas Alavilli of CfB said, “The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) proposed the SPV weeks ago and we waited for a positive response from the minister.

“It is unfortunate that the Railways is not coming forward. The minister says he is committed to the project.

So far, we did not get anything but empty promises,” he said.

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