Commuter rail may chug in two years

The City may have commuter rail services within the next two years if everything goes as per the plan. 

Addressing the media during an interactive session on Friday, Bangalore’s Divisional Railway Manager Sudhanshu Mani said that RITES, which had prepared a draft proposal for the launch of commuter services would be re-submitting the draft after modifications in three week’s time. 

“We held a meeting with all the stakeholders two days ago. We will be deciding on the investment model for this project. Once that is finalised, we are looking at introducing the services in 15-24 months’ time on the existing tracks. This will lead to a quantum jump on commuter services,” he remarked.

The initial routes will cover services to and from Tumkur, Doddaballapur, Hosur, Bangarpet and Kengeri. Services are also planned to Chikkaballapur, which will ensure that people travelling to the international airport can also use the route.

City station expansion

The much-needed expansion of the City station is also on the anvil, as the Railways have finally decided to expand the station within the available space. 

The four lines between platform 4 and 5 used for washing and cleaning will now be moved to Hejjala and Byappanahalli stations to make room for more platforms. About 5 or 6 more platforms will be added, after construction of one more platform beyond platform 10. 

“This will enable us to handle more long distance trains and also trains for commuter services.” Mani said the Binny Mills land could be be utilised if it was made available by the State government for creating a hub for commuter services. 

While the Railways had asked for the Binny Mills land earlier to expand the saturated City station, the State government has not shown any signs of acquiescing to the request.

Metro services

Mani expressed his unhappiness over the tussle between Railways and the private developer constructing the station on Sampige Road at Swastik Theatre. 

“They  have entered into an agreement with the BMRCL and are constructing the station. They need to take our permission if they are working with 30 mts of the Railway property. But they have not done this,” he clarified. 

“They have encroached two to three times. Since we evicted the builder from our land, he approached the court, which had ordered status quo. As on today, we are in possession of the land,” he added. Mani who did not hide his annoyance with the builders, said, “This private entity is nothing short of a scam.”

Speaking on the continuing engagement with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., (BMRCL) for the launch of Metro services, Mani said they had allowed the BMRCL to work around the City railway station. 

“We have offered them buildings wherever we can for their underground work. However, certain issues have to be sorted out with the BMRCL before handing over the land where Supervisors’ Training Centre is located. Since the centre trains all safety personnel, we cannot immediately disturb centre’s functioning,” he stated.


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