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The suburban railway network, they said, was their alternative to the proposed steel flyover.

Bengaluru citizens cry Chuku Buku Beku launch rail yatra demanding suburban trainsAll images from Facebook
news #SteelflyoverBeda Saturday, December 17, 2016 - 13:57

What do Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata have, but Bengaluru doesn’t?

A decent local train network.

When members of Citizens of Bengaluru (CfB) sat down thinking what can be done to solve the perpetual traffic deadlock the city seems to be in, it struck them as odd that Bengaluru never had a proper suburban train network.

So, could that be the solution to some of the city’s woes? They seem to think so. As many as thousand people got together on Saturday to participate in a rail yatra demanding a well-connected suburban railway network in Bengaluru. Their clarion call – Chuku Buku Beku – meaning, ‘we want trains’.

The campaign has been launched by the CfB a few weeks ago, and projects suburban trains as the alternative to the proposed steel flyover in the city, which has seen sharp criticism and wide-spread opposition.

On Saturday, the volunteers traveled from Cantonment station to Whitefield in KSR-Bangarpet MEMU- a distance of 20kms- to raise awareness about the campaign and send across the message to the government. 

The participants included 300 students from Mount Carmel college and citizens-groups including Whitefield Rising and KR Puram Rising, who boarded the train tour from different stations. 

As the train passed through Bengaluru East, Baiyappanahalli, KR Puram and Hoodi stations before reaching Whitefield, the group sent across their message loud and clear- that the solution to public transport issues is not constructing a Rs 2000 crore steel flyover, but making the suburban railway network stronger. 

Prominent singer and Bengaluru-based music composer Raghu Dixit, was one among the volunteers who came in support of the campaign. 

Speaking to The News Minute, CfB member Srinivas Alavilli said that the campaign was a true citizens movement. 

"People are aware of the civic issues that plague that city, especially the traffic issue. But they don't know how to fix it, and are actually willing to fight for a cause. What is often lacking is a platform that can bring them together. This is one such platform where every Bengalurean can join," he said. 

He believes that the presence of eminent personalities including Raghu Dixit and artist SG Vasudev have fared well with the public, in terms of the reach of the campaign. 

Srinivas added that the binding force that brought the citizens from different geographical locations, age groups and occupation, was the "pure love for Bengaluru." 

Prior to the rail yatra, the volunteers had reached out to a number of colleges in the city to raise awareness about the potentials of suburban trains. Earlier this month, they had also launched a campaign "Call you MP/MLA" to raise the demand. 

Also read: Pressed for alternatives, SteelFlyoverBeda campaigners take up the suburban trains cause

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