Railways rules out immediate relief to Whitefield commuters

Railways rules out immediate relief to Whitefield commuters

Railways rules out immediate relief to Whitefield commuters

Commuters to Whitefield and surrounding areas will have to endure traffic jams till the end of the year with the railways ruling out additional services till the completion of automatic signalling on the Cantonment-Whitefield stretch.

Activists had demanded trains between 7 pm and 10 pm from Whitefield. They had also sought stoppage of long-distance trains at Whitefield.

A senior railway official said the limited infrastructure on the line makes it impossible to introduce anymore trains.

"It is one of the busiest lines in Bengaluru division. Without adequate infrastructure, enhancing services is not feasible. We have to wait till the completion of automatic signalling, which we have taken up on priority," he said.

Railways had set 2018 as the deadline for completion of the project, which was sanctioned in 2013. The divisional railway manager's office (DRMO), responding to a representation made by citizen group Whitefield Rising, has said the signalling plan has been submitted to the Commissioner of Railway Safety and approval is awaited.

The DRMO has also ruled out the possibility of providing stoppages at Baiyappanahalli for three long-distance trains citing inadequate platform length. "Extension work of platform 1 and 2 at Baiyappanahalli station is in progress and the likely target date of completion is March 2018," the DRMO   said.

With the railways not offering any relief, activists of Whitefield Rising have decided to approach the people's representatives for a solution. "There is a crisis on the road after the work on the Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield Metro bagan. We are happy that the railways has replied but it is disappointing that there is no relief for us," said Anjali Saini, one of the activists who met the DRM R S Saxena recently.

She said besides the traffic snarls, the air pollution caused by Metro work has led to health hazards and it was impossible to wait anymore. "People are falling sick and we are losing our productivity. The railways says either work is in progress or a proposal has been sent. The state government only gives us assurances. Meanwhile, we continue to suffer," Anjali said.

The activists said they will take their grievances to member of Parliament P C Mohan next week. "Nothing other than immediate relief will help us and that can only be offered by railways as trains are relatively clean compared to the pollution on roads," she said.

DH News Service

 Inset

No halt at goods shed

The railways has ruled out the possibility of providing a halt at Whitefield goods shed station, a long-standing demand made by residents and activists from Whitefield.

"There is movement of heavy duty trucks, including cranes... providing a halt will not be a user friendly arrangement due to criss-crossing of the existing yard. An alternative location towards Whitefield end may be identified and suggested for exploring the feasibility of the same," the DRMO said.

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