‘Suburban rail project must be self-sustaining’

Project likely to require Rs. 10,000 crore: Kharge

February 09, 2014 12:23 am | Updated May 26, 2016 09:29 am IST - Bangalore:

Minister for Railways M. Mallikarjun Kharge has said that a suburban rail network for Bangalore proposed by several organisations, is under active consideration.

Speaking to presspersons after launching several railway infrastructure projects here on Saturday, he said: “No one is more interested in seeing this proposal through, like I am.”

He said the suburban rail network will help connect the city to nearby towns and taluks, including Chickballapur, Bangarpet, Mandya and Tumkur. “The Rail Indian Technical and Economic Services (RITES) has already submitted a report on this suburban rail network. We need to look into the feasibility, ascertain how the project that is likely to require Rs. 10,000 crore will be funded and sharing of costs by the Union and the State government. It is important to ensure that the project is self-sustaining, earns profits or at least runs on a no-profit-no-loss basis.”

The Railway Minister said that he had already directed the officials concerned to look into the project’s feasibility and study the proposal submitted by RITES. To execute the project, Bangalore Rail Vikas Corporation could be set up on the lines of Maharashtra Rail Vikas Corporation.

Track doubling

Asked about the track doubling work between Mysore and Bangalore, Mr. Kharge admitted that there were some issues. “No agency participated in the global tender floated to shift Tipu’s Armoury near Srirangapatna. We may have to have a single track in that stretch. That apart, there are some land acquisition problems at Maddur where we require three acres. Once these issues are sorted out, the track doubling can be completed,” he said.

Fire accident

About the fire that killed 26 passengers on the Bangalore City-Nanded Express, he said the preliminary report pointed out that the fire was caused due to negligence of passengers. “We will wait for the forensic report,” he added.

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