Railways grants Rs 6,000 cr for suburban project in Bengaluru

Railways grants Rs 6,000 cr for suburban project in Bengaluru

Railways grants Rs 6,000 cr for suburban project in Bengaluru

The railways on Tuesday gave a boost to the suburban rail project by sanctioning Rs 6,030.55 crore in its pink book and allocating initial funds for doubling and electrification works for lines within the city.

The South Western Railway's pink book, detailing sanctioned works and outlay for the year 2018-19, put the suburban rail cost at Rs 12,061.1 crore, to be equally shared by the state and the Centre.

The cost differs from the Rs 17,000 crore mentioned in the general budget. Officials at the South Western Railway said clubbing of related pending projects in Bengaluru may have led to the higher cost.

"We have sent the proposal for suburban rail with 142 km of elevated and grade level track for which Rs 6,030.55 crore has been sanctioned," SWR chief public relations officer E Vijaya said. When pointed out that only Rs 1 crore has been allocated for 2018-19, officials said the remaining funds will come once the special purpose vehicle is formed.

The pink book, however, puts to rest the confusion surrounding the cost sharing by making it clear that the railways and state will contribute equally for the project.

Push for infra

Funds have been sanctioned for key infrastructure projects like doubling and electrification. By sanctioning funds for the key project of doubling Baiyappanahalli-Hosur and Yeshwantpur-Channasandra lines, the railways has finally recognised the importance of a long pending demand.

While officials in a press release showed that Rs 6 crore has been allocated for quadrupling of the Bengaluru-Whitefield-Bengaluru City-Krishnarajapuram (23.08 km) network, the pink book put the amount at Rs 1 crore.

"The section is the major part of any suburban rail project and any delay will affect the whole project. More funds should have been sanctioned to expedite the project as delays will result in escalation of cost," said urban transport activist Sanjeev Dyamannavar.

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