Finally, suburban rail project on tracks

Proposal pending since Oct 2013, DPR submitted to DULT

Finally, suburban rail project on tracks

The Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) has finally submitted the Detailed Project Report (DPR) on the much-awaited Bengaluru suburban rail project to the Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT).

The DPR was submitted last week and RITES officials have given a presentation on the project. The DULT has now sent the report to the stakeholders involved in the project including the Railways, Ministry of Urban Development and other civic agencies, according to sources.

An official from RITES on the condition of anonymity said, “Our work is technically over with the submission of the report. We have to now wait till all the stakeholders involved in the project give their suggestions. Till then, the ball is in DULT's court.”

The proposal for a suburban rail for Bengaluru has been pending since October 2013. RITES had even submitted a feasibility report on the project, recommending its implementation at an estimated cost of Rs 8,759 crore. The Karnataka government has already formed the Bangalore Suburban Rail Corporation Ltd (BSRCL) to enable the implementation of the project and has also committed to meet half of the project cost.

Interestingly, in February this year, ahead of the railway budget, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had written to Union Railways minister Suresh Prabhu requesting him to include the project in the Railway budget for the current fiscal. The letter stated that the implementation of the suburban rail system will improve the connectivity between Bengaluru and the towns on the periphery. He had stated that it will also help reducing dependence on personal vehicles and contribute to growth along the transit corridor.

Meanwhile, in February 2014, the railway board and the general manager of South Western Railway, Hubballi, had sought clarifications on the project. In March 2014, the South Western Railways gave its consent to the railway board to go ahead with the Bengaluru suburban rail project as per the RITES feasibility report.

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