Bengaluru Traffic Chaos To Be Resolved, Suburban Railway Project To Start Soon - Vaishnaw
Bengaluru will soon have a dedicated suburban railway network connecting various parts of the city to help the commuters avoid the traffic chaos.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the Bengaluru Suburban Railway Project (BSRP) will start soon and it will not suffer due to the lack of a full time dedicated Managing Director in the joint venture company K-RIDE. He also noted that the Railways was planning to develop a circular railway network around Bengaluru to check traffic woes and Rs seven crore has been sanctioned to conduct a pre-feasibility test.
During a media interaction after a meeting with the officials of South Western Railway and the Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) (K-RIDE), the minister said the Centre will take up the BSRP with 'full emphasis, full focus and full sincerity'. “I think that the time will soon come. Our government, when we started the journey in 2014 at the central level, things changed a lot,” Vaishnaw said replying to a question on the reason behind delay in completing the project.
K-RIDE is a joint venture between the central government and Karnataka government. Quoting K-RIDE officials, Vaishnaw said the progress of funding the project was going on very well and it (funding) will be tied up by the end of the year. Regarding the need to have a full time MD in K-RIDE, the Minister said, “I can say that the project will not suffer because of these things. I told the railway team to pick up whatever gaps are there in the JV company and fulfill those gaps from the railway side. From the central government side, pick up whatever gaps are there in this (project) and do the work and provide that technical input, which is required to be provided in this project.”
Asked about deadline for commencing the operations, he said, “You have to ask this to both, the state and the Centre. My point is, suburban project has got full commitment of the Centre. I can assure you that very sincerely, very emphatically. Everything that is needed, we will do.” To a query whether there was a lapse on the part of the state government in completing the project, Vaishnaw said the Centre's commitment is to the people of Bengaluru. “We should not bring politics in such discussions. We have to rise above politics and deliver the services which the people of Bengaluru need,” he underlined. The Minister, however, blamed the previous Congress government for neglecting the BSRP for a very long period. He rubbished the statement that the union government was not cooperating. According to him, passenger carrying railways require a detailed project report in a very technical manner with zero error in the design and whenever the DPRs are returned or not approved, it is only because of technical reasons.
He added that during the meeting, he had put forth before the K-RIDE team to find a way by which properly technically qualified people can be utilised in the project. On the 287 km ‘circular railway' around Bengaluru, he explained, “We have sanctioned Rs seven crore for doing a Detailed Project Report of a circular railway. For a ring railway kind of system, which will basically provide a complete connectivity to the city as it grows in the next 20 to 30 years."
The circular railway will have 10 spokes which are basically inward connections, Vaishnaw said and added that this project is still in a survey stage. Regarding frequent landslides on Bengaluru-Mangaluru rail line, the minister blamed a joint venture company HMRD. “That company again is a joint venture and it has very limited technical capabilities. I've already requested the GM (South Western Railway General Manager) itself. In the first discussion I was asking about when are we going to take Vande Bharat to Mangaluru,” he said.