In another effort to ensure the political leaders act on expanding suburban rail services for the in Bengaluru, a group of suburban rail crusaders from Praja RAAG, Citizens for Citizens and Karnataka Railway Vedike met Karnataka Chief Secretary (CS) TM Vijaya Bhaskar on Tuesday. They urged him to take up minor works even as the Union government drags its feet over setting up of a dedicated suburban railway system for Bengaluru.
They urged the CS to put further pressure the Union government to approve the decade-old demand which is touted to be a fix for Bengaluruâ€™s traffic gridlock and growing pollution.
The demands put forward on Tuesday were targeted towards streamlining of services from Bengaluru city to the airport. The activists wanted the state government to work towards electrification of the rail tracks from Yehalanka to Devanahalli stretch, and doubling the number of lines towards the airport.
All these works can be completed within an expense of Rs 50 crore, the activists said, based on estimates by rail officials.
The construction of a suburban rail station at the edge of the Kempegowda International Airport station is already underway. While it was initially promised that the station will be ready by December 2019, it is likely to be ready for use only by March 2020.
Other than this, the activists demanded that all railway level crossings be equipped with railway underbridges or railway overbridges, enabling maximum utilisation of the tracks.
This move comes after the activists had petitioned the Bengaluru MPs for inclusion of certain long-pending demands of an overhaul of infrastructure.
The petitions sent to BJPâ€™s Tejasvi Surya, Sadanada Gowda and PC Mohan urged the MPs to ensure that the upcoming budget allocates enough funds for Automatic Signalling work in Bengaluru City (Bengaluru to Bidadi, Bengaluru to Chikbanawar, YPR-Doddaballapur, Whitefield-Bangarpet and Bayyappanahalli-Hosur) costing Rs 250 Crore. They also urged for the electrification of 30-kilometre stretch of Yelahanka â€“ Devanahalli costing Rs 40 Crore, and for a second terminal at Yesvanthpur Railway Station worth Rs 130 Crore.