Anil Kumar Sastry
‘BBMP not responsive to project’
BANGALORE: The Bangalore City Railway Station will not get a world class look as has often been promised by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad.
Instead, South Western Railway (SWR) is keen on developing Byappanahalli, located on the eastern part of the city, as the third railway terminal for the city along with world class facilities.
And the reason – lack of space – ascribed by the South Western Railway for leaving Bangalore City appears trivial. South Western Railway general manager Praveen Kumar said: “There is no space around the City Railway Station and it has become land-locked. Huge buildings have come up in the vicinity of the station, making it impossible to develop further.”
On the other hand, Byappanahalli, Mr. Kumar said, had sufficient space to get world class amenities and a proposal had been sent to the Railway Board in this regard.
On May 8, Mr. Kumar had said the process of empanelling consultants for developing the City Station was on. He said bids would be invited for the same.
The Railway Board had released Rs. 1 crore for appointing consultants in January this year. As per the draft plan, the City Station was to have separate arrival and departure lounges, shopping malls, escalators, ticketed entry to platforms, food courts, automatic ticketing system and a hi-tech electronic queue management system for passengers.
The City Station handles 71 pairs of trains, and more than 1.5 lakh passengers use its premises every day. The Railway Minister Lalu Prasad recently announced that Bangalore, along with 15 other major railway stations in the country, would be upgraded to world class standards. While the existing main entry facing the Kempe Gowda Bus Station was to be revamped, the second entry from Rajajinagar side was to have an exclusive terminal with all passenger amenities, Divisional Railway Manager Mahesh Mangal had told The Hindu in January.
Contrary to the claims of lack of space of the General Manager, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike had agreed to hand over 6,000 sq m of land, which was previously held by an oil company, to the Railways. There was a proposal to revamp the road network around the City Railway Station by construction of underpasses and flyovers to ease traffic bottlenecks as well as to provide easy entry and exit to the station.
The Railways officials claim that the BBMP was not responsive to the project.