Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George said that the project should follow a 50-50 equity funding pattern.

Bengalurus Chuku Buku faces costing issues Budgeting could delay urban railway projectImage for representation only
news Railways Sunday, January 15, 2017 - 09:11

With the Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu scheduled to visit Bengaluru on Monday to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the central government and the Karnataka government on the suburban rail project, reports indicate that differences in cost sharing is likely to delay the project.

As per a draft policy by the Indian Railways, Karnataka is expected to bear 20% of the project cost, raise loans to cover 60% and the Railways will contribute the remaining 20%, reports Aparajita Ray for The Times of India.

The onus of land acquisition in Bengaluru and other cities as part of the suburban railway network also lies with the state government.

However, Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George said that the project should follow a 50-50 equity funding pattern.“We want to make it a joint venture, with 5050 equity funding. We have also sent our suggestions on the draft policy proposed by the Indian Railways,” he was quoted as saying.

Speaking to TOI, Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan said that the state government “was not taking any initiatives” in the project.

“The Railways is responsible for operating freight trains, and long distance passenger trains. Suburban rail network is a state subject. But, the Karnataka government is not taking any initiative to set the ball rolling,” he said. 

He also added that while the proposed Rs 2100 Crore steel flyover was only a short-term solution to the city’s traffic woes, the suburban rail network that will cater to as many as 25 lakh people every day, was the way forward. Mohan added that minister KJ Goeroge was of the opinion that the state should not spend on suburban rail project.

For the officials in the South Western Railway, the signing of the memorandum was the formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), that can decide on the projects that should be undertaken to improve the railway infrastructure.

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