Byppanahalli has been waiting for years to get into the big league
For a station poised to becoming the third alternative to the busy Bangalore City Railway Station and Yeshwantpur railway station, the Byappanahalli station is rather quiet. But belying the sleepy exteriors, there is a brisk sale of tickets inside, which could be seen as a pointer to the station’s potential as the third coaching terminal in the city.
The station manager on duty said that nearly 2,000 people use the station on an average on any given day. “Most of the passengers are those from villages in Bangarpet, Hindupur, Pandavapura, Malur, Kolar, Hosur and Marikuppam, who work in this part of the city — HAL Airport Road and K.R. Puram,” he said.
Waiting in the wings
This little station, chosen to be developed into a world-class facility, is not very far from the bustling K.R. Puram station.
To begin with, the Byappanahalli station boasts connectivity like no other. With Namma Metro on one side and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses plying through the Old Madras Road (on which the station is located), reaching it is not a problem.
KSRTC is also planning a satellite bus terminal on the NGEF land for its east-bound services, close to the Byappanahalli Railway Station.
In addition, it is surrounded by a vast expanse of land — measuring approximately 77 acres extending up to Banaswadi — belonging to the Railways. In fact, it is in the goods yard that the coaching terminal is coming up.
But projects are chugging in, albeit slowly. A.K. Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, South Western Railway (Bangalore Division), told The Hindu that two pit lines (used to clean coaches, along with stabling lines meant for maintenance and other works), laid at a cost of Rs. 10 crore were commissioned on Monday (March 4). By March 10, the reservation counter is expected to become functional. However, Mr. Agarwal admitted that this was only the first phase, and the transformation of the station into a full-fledged coaching terminal would take at least five years. “There is a requirement of at least five or six new platforms so that trains can start and terminate here. But there is no proposal for this yet,” he added.
With the other two coaching terminals having reached saturation points, the Byappanahalli station’s pit lines, for now, will be used for the maintenance of trains from the city station.