Suburban rail eludes B'luru as feasibility report gathers dust

DULT fails to address constraints pointed out by SWR panel

Suburban rail eludes B'luru as feasibility report gathers dust

In what seems like another roadblock for the much-awaited suburban rail services from Bengaluru, the Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT) continues to sit on the feasibility report submitted in May.

The project which aims to connect the City and its suburbs has been awaiting implementation for many years due to lack of initiative.  The Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) had submitted the Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the DULT.

DULT officials sent the report to all stakeholders including Railways, BMRCL and the Ministry of Urban Development. However, no further step was taken by DULT.

Sources say that the South Western Railway (SWR), Hubballi, had formed a three-member committee to study the report and it had come up with details on the constraints that Railways faced. It also underlined the infrastructure requirements.

Sources say that the same was conveyed to DULT, but it sat over it since then.
Sanjeev Dyamannavar from Praja said, “By now, the State government should have been seriously pursuing the report and its implementation with SWR, but that is not the case. It is high time that the project is executed to help thousands of daily commuters”.

The proposal for a suburban rail for Bengaluru has been pending since October 2013. RITES had submitted a feasibility report on the project, recommending its implementation at an estimated Rs 8,759 crore. The State government has already formed the Bangalore Suburban Rail Corporation Limited to enable implementation of the project and has committed to meet half of the cost.

In February this year, ahead of the Railway budget, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu requesting him to include the project in the Railway budget.

The letter said the suburban rail will improve connectivity between Bengaluru and towns on the periphery. The letter said it will help reduce dependence on personal vehicles and contribute to growth along the transit corridor.

In February 2014, the Railway Board and general manager of SWR had sought clarifications on the project. In March 2014, SWR gave consent to the Railway Board to go ahead with the project as per feasibility report.

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