Metro link: Railways look the other way

Potential of Baiyyappanahalli Junction yet to be exploited
Last Updated 09 March 2013, 19:56 IST

Passengers of Indian Railways may catch Metro train at the Baiyyappanahalli station if all goes well as per the plans of Legislative Council chairperson D H Shankaramurthy.

Shankaramurthy, who heads the Joint Legislature Committee on Railways, told Deccan Herald that he would convene a meeting of stakeholders to deliberate on the measures to provide Railway-Metro connectivity at Baiyyappanahalli.

Chief Secretary to government, members of South Western Railway Board (SWR), officials from Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited, Urban Development Department, Infrastructure Development and other related agencies will attend the meeting.

The chairperson said the immediate need was to ask SWR provide stoppages for more trains at Baiyyappanahalli since some trains coming to City do not go beyond the Cantonment station.

“Next step is to provide passenger amenities at Baiyyappanahalli and construction of a ramp to provide connectivity between the railway and metro stations. The project neither costs more nor requires alteration in train schedules,” Murthy said.

BMRCL Managing Director N Sivasailam said with additional infrastructure in place, Baiyyappanahalli can be developed as a terminal from where at least eight new trains can originate to different destinations including Mumbai.

As the Metro Phase II connects Baiyyappanahalli with Whitefield, the upgrading of the terminal would also help lot of people from the business community, he added.

Maintenance facility

However, the Indian Railways appear to have a different plan. Anil Kumar Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, SWR, said the immediate priority was to develop Baiyyappanahalli terminal as a maintenance facility. “We have created infrastructure for pit line maintenance with the funds allotted. Upgrading the terminal capacity would take time,” Agarwal said.

He added that stoppages for more trains could be provided at the junction depending on public demand and sale of tickets. “If there is a necessity for more train stoppages, we will write to the Railway Board. They will take the final call,” he said.

However, a former member of the Railway Board said there was an urgent need to exploit the capacity of Baiyyappanahalli station. Even with the present infrastructure, four to six trains can be stationed at the terminal.

The SWR had earlier proposed for developing the station as the third terminal for Bangalore city, as both the City and Yeshwantpur railway stations are handling more
passenger traffic than their capacity.

“It seems there is lack of leadership to understand the urgency of providing connectivity between railways and Namma Metro. We need somebody to bell the cat here,” he added.

(Published 09 March 2013, 19:55 IST)

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