Commuter rail project gets Cabinet nod

The State Cabinet, which met here on Tuesday, gave in-principle approval for Commuter Rail System (CRS) for Bangalore. It is also expected to benefit people in six districts surrounding the City, viz, Mandya, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Tumkur, Ramnagar and Bangalore Rural, by providing faster connectivity.

A senior official in the State government told Deccan Herald that the respective departments have been told to prepare detailed project reports (DPR) for all the proposed routes as mentioned in the feasibility report on CRS submitted to the government by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES).

In the first phase, the government intends to start CRS between Bangalore-Tumkur, Bangalore- Mandya and Bangalore-Bangarpet. CRS for other proposed routes, namely, Bangalore-Chikkaballapur, Bangalore-Doddaballapur, Bangalore-Hoskote and Bangalore-Nelamangala will be taken up in phases, said the official.

When questioned about the funds required for the project, another official said Rs 500 crore has been sanctioned during the regime of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. “There is no dearth of funds. Once the DPR is done, we will have meetings with departments concerned and Railway Board on implementing the project. Related reports will also be submitted to Central government. A special purpose vehicle, involving all the stakeholders, is likely to be formed for executing the project,” he said.

A feasibility report on CRS by the RITES was submitted to the Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT) and the State government in July 2012. The report proposed to run trains at a speed of 70 km to 100 km to sub-urban areas around Bangalore. CRS promises faster and frequent connectivity to suburban areas and neighbouring districts, which are developing fast.

It also aims to ease pressure on main hub Bangalore. Namma Metro, Monorail, high-speed rail to BIAL, rejuvenated BMTC services, etc, cannot really provide this type of solution, said an urban expert instrumental in preparing feasibility report on CRS.

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