Now, state govt plans rail connectivity to airport

Now, state govt plans rail connectivity to airport

Now, state govt plans rail connectivity to airport
Alongside the Metro connectivity to the Kempegowda International Airport, the state government is planning a railway link from Yeshwantpur via Yelahanka, Union Minister for Statistics and Planning D V Sadananda Gowda said.

“Airports in all major cities are connected by train. Though we are working on a Metro, we decided that multi-modal transport is needed. Since the tracks at the city railway station (at Majestic) are saturated, it was decided to make Yeshwantpur the starting point,” he said.

Gowda was briefing the press after a meeting with Bengaluru Development Minister K J George, MP P C Mohan and senior officials from South Western Railway and BMRCL. He said the state government was ready to pay for a feasibility study for rail connectivity to the airport. “The railway minister has expressed his commitment to take the suburban railway to the next stage. We have decided to work on four major aspects of the project,” the Union minister said.

15 pairs of MEMU
In addition to the airport rail, the ministers decided to take forward the formation of special purpose vehicle (SPV), conversion of 15 pairs of trains to Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) and constructing three additional platforms at Baiyappanahalli terminal.

“The lack of a maintenance yard is a major problem for the railways as there is no land available. The Baiyappanahalli yard will help terminate several trains during peak hours, freeing the lines for suburban rail in the city,” he said.

George, who spoke on the occasion, said the full project of suburban railway will cost more than Rs 10,000 crore.

Decongestion of traffic
“We have decided to start MEMU services to Whitefield as soon as possible to decongest traffic in the area. The project will be taken up at full pace after the railway minister takes a decision on the SPV,” he said.

Cost-sharing: burden on state
The state government has to bear 80% of the suburban railway project cost, which is expected to go up to Rs 10,000 crore.

Explaining the cost-sharing module for suburban railway, Minister K J George said the state and Centre will pool 20% each and the remaining 60% will be borrowed. “We requested the Centre to share half of the loan. But they are citing the new suburban rail policy and sticking to 20%. We have decided to take up the project anyway,” he said.

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