Citizen groups condemn PMO’s stalling of suburban rail

Over 30 Bengaluru citizen groups have written to the Union Railway Minister condemning the PMO’s directive to stall the suburban railway project and rework it.  

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) recently revoked the possibility of providing railway land free to the Bengaluru suburban rail project. This is a shock, especially after the Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal declared after his meeting with Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy that the decks are clear for the project.

The citizen groups have mentioned in their letter that the city had been deprived of suburban rail for more than three decades and lack of such a transport facility adversely impacted the city and the state at large.

The letter, also addressed to the Deputy Regional Manager, South Western Railway, Bengaluru, said the
concerned ministers committed to the project under mounting pressure on the centre and state government brought forth by years of protests, appeals and feasibility studies and massive citizen demand.

Need for lifeline

It also stated that lakhs of commuters in the city await a full-fledged rail service, providing a lifeline for daily wage labourers, students and working professionals struggling to commute every day.

The citizen groups also demanded the PMO to immediately withdraw its new directive and clear all the obstacles to begin and complete the project.

“The suburban rail project has always been looked up to as a lifeline for the commuter in the city,” Srinivas Alavilli, co-founder and coordinator of   Citizen For Bengaluru said.

“The new directive by the PMO for reworking the project feels like a betrayal. However, we’ll not step back and approach the elected representatives again (after the elections) to realize this project,” he added.  

Members of the groups met the DRM, SW on Wednesday and handed the letter.

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