The state government also announced allocation of Rs 23 crore for the suburban train project as activists met the Chief Secretary.

Bluru suburban rail Ktaka Chief Secy accepts specific demands post Rail Yatra drive
news Transportation Saturday, September 08, 2018 - 09:54

Friday was a good day for all Bengalureans rallying for an efficient, robust, suburban railway system to solve the city’s traffic gridlock. While the state government announced allocation of Rs 23 crore for the suburban train project, Karnataka Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar met suburban rail activists and accepted a memorandum on basic demands related to the suburban railway project. 

The state government fund was given to the South Western Railways to increase Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) trains for suburban railway project. The chief secretary assured that talks with the Railways are on and the process to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will soon happen.

The chief secretary is holding meetings with the Railways, Department of Urban Land Transport, Urban Development Department and  Bangalore Metro Railway Corporation Limited (BMRCL) officials every 10 days.

Tara Krishnaswamy, co-founder of Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB), which led the highly followed Modalu Train Beku campaign recently, said, “The first time when we met him before the yatra, he asked us to note and collate the low hanging fruit demands. He wanted a detailed discussion on specific detailed demands that we collected in the Rail Yatra so that he can be prepared for the next meeting with the railway officials.”

She added, “He acknowledged the success of the Rail Yatra and said that it will be addressed in the fastest possible way.” 

The chief secretary has also given time in the third week of September to the activists, for a detailed meeting on specific action points. 

Formation of an SPV like that of BMRCL, a separate company (co-owned by the state and centre) is necessary for the steady expansion of tracks and services.

CfB on Friday asked the chief secretary to meet five demands by the start of next year:

  • ORR and E City: There are only two trains from city to ORR and E City. 6.30am from Yeswantpur and 7:15 from City Station. We need at least two more trains from each of these places at more convenient times morning and evening. Most importantly, these trains cannot be delayed yielding to other trains and must run on time. 
  • Access roads at Bellandur, Carmelaram and Heelalige needs work immediately. We request the DEMU train between Banaswadi to Hosur to be re-introduced.
  • Yelahanka - Whitefield now has double line and electrified and yet no trains! Whitefield - Hoody -KR Puram - Byappanahalli-Banaswadi-Hebbal -Lottegolla halli – Yeswantpur line has tremendous potential due to metro connectivity at Byappanahalli and KR Puram (in future). Evening service after 7pm from Whitefield to Bangalore City is in much demand. Trains do not run on time. We learned that the Cantonment-Whitefield quadrupling work has been pending for several years.
  • Optimal utilisation of 16 Coach MEMU rakes: They should run for 500 kms/day.
  • Tumkuru: Evening service after 5pm from Bengaluru to Tumkuru.