Wait for suburban rail system continues

June 21, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:32 am IST - Bengaluru:

Suresh Prabhu non-committal on the project

Suburban rail in Bengaluru did not receive any firm commitment from Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu despite his Cabinet colleagues from Karnataka making a firm pitch for it on Saturday.

While Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar and Minister for Law and Justice D.V. Sadananda Gowda stated that suburban rail would help ease the city’s traffic congestion, Mr. Prabhu, though favouring the idea, did not make an announcement or set a time frame.

The Railway Minister, who inaugurated passenger facilities, said that the Centre was committed to providing an integrated and modern transport system to Bengaluru . He said that they would try and work to deliver commuter rail at the “earliest”.

Earlier, Mr. Ananth Kumar said that a survey had pegged the project cost at Rs. 8,759 crore, and the State government could be persuaded to bear half of the cost.

Meanwhile, Mr. Prabhu felt the need for a satellite terminal for the city to decongest city railway station. “All major trains can pass through the station that can be located on the outskirts of the city,” he said.

He said that a company can be formed to look to look into the projects dedicated for Karnataka. “This would help in decentralising the work,” he said.

About 1.25 lakh passengers, who use the city railway station daily, have a reason to cheer.

Long queues at the ticket counters could get shorter with the addition of nine more ticket counters at the Okalipuram entrance, parking, toilets, cloak room and AC lounge for passengers, all which have come up in a new building built at a cost of Rs. 5.5 crore that was inaugurated by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday.

He also dedicated a new station building at K.R. Puram here, staff quarters at Hubbali, and footbridges at Koppal, Almatti, and Alnavar.

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