Commuter rail system gets nod

Last Updated : 06 July 2013, 17:38 IST

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The State government formally approved the Bangalore Commuter/Suburban Rail System (CRS) earlier this week.

V Manjula, Commissioner, Department of Urban Land Transport, said on Saturday that the department was now in the process of preparing a detailed project report (DPR) for Phase I-A of the CRS.

“We have received the approval from the government for Phase I-A of the CRS and are in the process of preparing the DPR,” she confirmed.

As per the RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service) report, submitted in August 2012, Phase I-A will provide electrified train facilities on the two routes of Bangalore-Bangarpet and Bangalore-Mandya.

However, putting a spanner in the aspirations of the State government to start the commuter rail system, the Railways has said it cannot fund the project in Bangalore.

While it has given its ‘in-principle’ approval for the project, the Railways has said it will not absorb any financial burden for the project.

Rail systems facing loss

According to sources in the Railway Board, all the suburban railway systems in the country are making losses. So, speculations are rife over the Railways bearing portions of the cost to start the project.

Manjula said the department had already approached the Railways for a partnership deal on the project, but elicited no response.

“We will approach the Railways again and seek their support,” she said.

While the initial cost estimate for Phase I-A is put at Rs 174 crore, not factoring in the Binny Mills land cost, the final figures of the financial burden are yet to be estimated.

With the minimum infrastructure available for starting the Commuter/Suburban Rail System along the two lines, the government appears to have favoured this portion of the project before Phase I.

‘Acquire Binny Mill’

Meanwhile, in its suggestions, the Railways has also made it clear that the State government would have to acquire the Binny Mill land for the CRS. The RITES report had said: “To put in simple and plain words, without the Binny Mill land, there may not be a Commuter/Suburban Rail System.”

It is said the Railways does not want to share any of its platform infrastructure for the CRS at the City Railway Station as it would hamper the existing services to and from the heart of the City.

The two routes for Phase I-A as per the route map generated by DULT

   * Bangalore City-Nayandahalli-Jnanabharathi-Kengeri-Hejjala-Bidadi-Ramanagara
   * Bangalore City-Bangalore Cantonment-Bangalore East- Krishnarajapuram-Whitefield-Devanagonthi-Malur

Published 06 July 2013, 17:38 IST

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