Joint committee set up to finalise City suburban rail network

Joint committee set up to finalise City suburban rail network

On the heels of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announcing in the Railway Budget a  suburban rail network for Bengaluru, a joint committee comprising officials from the Railways and Karnataka government has been set up to work out the modalities.

The committee constituted on Thursday has principal secretaries of various state departments and top brass of Bengaluru division of the South Western Railways (SWR).

Sanjiv Agarwal, General Manager, Bengaluru division of SWR, said: “Since it needs a lot of funding, joint venture would be the ideal way to go forward. The Railways and the State government will raise and share part of the funding, while the remaining part money will be raised from the market. The panel will be the final adjudicator on how the suburban system should be devised, the model to be adopted, the areas to be  covered and the operational method. Other railway infrastructure projects too will be taken up in joint venture mode.”

The cost of the suburban rail system has not yet been worked out and now that the Committee has been formed, it will take a call on the planning and funding of the project. The demand for suburban system was pending for years and assumed more urgency in the last couple of years with increase in the traffic of working people travelling from the  suburbs to their workplace in Bengaluru City.

Meanwhile, the modernisation of Baiyappanahalli station has got Rs 3 crore in the budget, as against Rs 115 crore allocated last year.

The Railways is also providing  Wi-Fi in class A and A1 stations across Karnataka. Class B stations will be covered in a phased manner. Yeshwantpur station will get Wi-Fi soon, followed by seven stations, Agarwal said.

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