The suburban rail network in Bengaluru will be strengthened in the coming week, as eight new local trains are going to be launched by South Western Railways.
The launch of these eight new trains was announced by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal who was in Bengaluru recently to inspect the ongoing physical survey work, required for preparing the detailed feasibility report, for a revamp of Bengaluruâ€™s suburban railway network.
"The eight new trains will be added within a week," Goyal said.
Out of these eight new trains, four will run between Hosur and Banaswadi, and two each between Byappanahalli-Whitefield, Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna (Majestic)-Byappanahalli routes.
Speaking about the feasibility study, AK Gupta, General Manager, SWR said, â€śThe report will contain details of traffic projections, rate of return as well as a detailed map and alignment. We expect a total of 6 months for it to be ready.â€ť
Meanwhile, Minister Goyal praised the current government and said that expenditure during the current tenure has gone up by 250%.
"The speed of new lines added during the last four years has increased by 200%. Similarly, doubling work has been speeded up by 60%, electrification work has gone up from 8 km to 177 km per year," the minister claimed.
Sanjeev Dhyanavar, an urban mobility expert and long-time crusader for suburban railways said, â€śThis is a positive move and gradually as the infrastructure gets added, more trains can be started so that it helps the traffic situation in the city.â€ť
The demand for suburban railway on the lines of Mumbai and other big cities in India has been growing gradually among city dwellers.
Citizen groups had launched a campaign called Chuku Buku Beku as early as December 2016â€” demanding a well-connected intra-city railway network in order to solve the cityâ€™s traffic gridlock.
They argued that instead of building a Rs 2,000 crore steel flyover, public money could be better utilised by expanding railway services, as the basic infrastructure of 180 km of railway track and 40 railway stations is already ready.
The first success of the movement came in August 2017 after suburban train service between Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield was inaugurated by then Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu. With this, a journey of 15km could be covered in just 25 minutes.
Recently, the state government had given approval to contribute Rs 350 crore towards the project.