Suburban rail plan not tweaked, will happen in phases: George

'Illegal developers opposing compost units on City outskirts'

Suburban rail plan not tweaked, will happen in phases: George

Bengaluru Development Minister K J George on Monday said the government had decided to implement the proposed suburban rail system in a phased manner with an aim to de-congest roads. 

Speaking to reporters, he said the suburban rail system was estimated to cost Rs 9,000 crore. Under phase 1 of the project, Namma Metro will be linked with local trains at three terminals: Yeshwantpur (to cater to those coming from Tumakuru side), Kengeri (to cater to those coming from Mysuru side) and Baiyappanahalli (to cater to those coming from Whitefield). The phase I is estimated to cost Rs 1,000 crore, he added.

He denied that the government was planning to modify the suburban rail system plan and said that preparations were being made to implement phase I at the earliest. 

The State government has urged the Centre to bear the entire cost of the project. But the Centre has asked the State to share the cost. Officials of both the governments are holding discussions in this regard. An appropriate decision will be taken soon, he said.

George said he had held a meeting with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu during his recent visit to Bengaluru. 

The State government is hopeful that the project will be announced in the coming railway budget, he added.

The minister said a Malaysian company had come forward to instal LED (light emitting diode) streetlights in Bengaluru. The company has offered to instal the lights free of charge if the government allows it to put up digital pole ads. LED lights are energy-efficient and the BBMP will be able to save a lot money by using it, he added. The minister, however, did not disclose the name of the company.

 The government has held a preliminary meeting with the company and it has been asked to submit a detailed proposal in this regard. It has offered to share the profit earned through advertisements with the BBMP. A memorandum of understanding will be signed with the company to implement the project if the government gives its nod, he said.

Official sources in the BBMP said Malaysia-based Sky Blue Media had come up with the proposal. But according to the advertisement byelaw of the BBMP, pole ads are not allowed on streetlights. Hence, the company has to instal separate poles for LED streetlights. The BBMP is likely to call a tender to instal LED streetlights.  

Another Malaysian company has shown interest in constructing a convention hall in Bengaluru. The government has to provide only the land for this purpose, he said.

Those who are illegally developing layouts in the green belt area have been opposing a move to set up compost-manufacturing units on the outskirts of Bengaluru. 

They are instigating local people to stage a protest against the move. Converting garbage into compost is one of the ways to keep the environment clean. Compost-manufacturing units will not lead to any problem, George added. 

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