KARNATAKA

Politicians make promises on rail connectivity in the city

Staff Reporter

Bangalore: Will Bangalore get a circular railway on the lines of the Mumbai suburban railway system?

With elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) round the corner, leaders of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party utilised a function organised to inaugurate the newly built flyover across railway level crossing at Wheeler Road-Cox Town junction here on Tuesday to make promises on rail connectivity.

In response to a request by Member of Parliament (Bangalore South) H.N. Ananth Kumar, Union Minister of State for Railways K.H Muniyappa said that he was prepared to take up the issue if the State Government came out with an assurance to give land for the project besides sharing 50 per cent of the project cost.

Local trains

Mr. Kumar suggested that local trains be introduced by upgrading to double-line the existing railway lines between all stations in and Bangalore and its outskirts, building railway stations for every one to two km and electrifying the railway lines.

Pointing out the need for providing local train link connecting Magadi, Doddaballapur, Ramanagara, Hoskote, Nelamangala and Devanahalli, Mr. Muniyappa said: “I am confident of being able to convince Union Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee to provide circular rail system for Bangalore if the State Government comes forward to invest in the project.”

Mr. Muniyappa’s response forced Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to address the gathering for the second time as he had already finished his speech.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said that he would immediately write a letter to Ms. Banerjee making a proposal in this regard and said that the State Government was prepared to provide 50 per cent of the project cost. “Somehow, we will arrange money if the Union Government is ready to take up the project,” the Chief Minister said.

Even though the ceremony wasorganised by the BBMP and the South Western Railways as these agencies had spent Rs. 9.5 crore and Rs. 6 crore respectively for building the flyover, the flags of Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party carried by the party workers gave a political colour to the event.

The work on the flyover, commenced in mid-2006, was slated to complete in December 2007. The work was completed in November last, but the inauguration was postponed as the owners of properties on both the sides of the flyover demanded completion of drains, footpath, asphalting of service roads, before allowing traffic on it.

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