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Bengaluru to Finally Get Suburban Train Network With 82 Stations, Will Link Airport to City

The cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 23,000 crores and will extend to 160 kms, with 12 inter-changes facilitating change to bus service for last-mile connectivity.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:February 23, 2019, 11:17 PM IST
Bengaluru to Finally Get Suburban Train Network With 82 Stations, Will Link Airport to City
Picture for representation. (Image: Reuters)

Bengaluru: A suburban train project connecting 82 stations around Bengaluru city has finally got approval from the Centre and the state after being in works for nearly 20 years. The project will also connect the Bengaluru airport to the city.

The city already has about 29 stations and many commuters use existing trains between Bengaluru and other cities. However, there has been a growing demand in the last five years for an exclusive local train to reduce the travel time in the ever-expanding city. There have been many campaigns particularly from the IT community, as IT parks in the suburbs are best accessed by a train network.

Bengaluru citizens have been holding campaigns for the train network as the city is riddled with massive traffic jams.

Union railway minister Piyush Goyal, who was on a review visit to the city on Friday, said he met chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and talked about issues raised by the state as far as land acquisition and cost sharing is concerned to start the project at the earliest.

Goyal later said the final decision would be taken by the state cabinet. The final announcement will be made on Monday, CM Kumaraswamy hinted, adding that he has requested PM modi to lay the foundation stone of the project.

The project extends to 160 kms, envisages 12 inter-changes where people can change over from trains to buses or the metro rail for the last mile connectivity. It will be executed over six years at a projected cost of Rs 23,000 crores. About 70 km of this will be elevated rail.

"The railway network in Karnataka has increased to three times as before. This design is a world class plan to decongest roads. In some places you will see three levels - road traffic, Metro and the suburban train moving at the same time ," Goyal said.

Coach Factory to Become Workshop?

However, the rail coach factory that the Centre had earlier promised for the district of Kolar just outside Bengaluru is likely to not take off, Goyal indicated.

"When it was envisaged, the demand for coaches was high. But now our existing coach factories are producing nearly 70 per cent capacity and meeting requirements. So I suggest the state government to can start a workshop there. We can eventually upgrade to a rail coach plant if there is greater demand once the suburban train services begin," Goyal said.

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