The Twitter campaign was timed to coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit in Karnataka.

Chuku buku Cabinet clearance beku Bengaluru citizen activists to PM Modi
news Suburban rail Thursday, January 02, 2020 - 14:59

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Bengaluru on Thursday for his two-day programme in Karnataka, activists and citizens are taking to social media to remind him about an unfulfilled promise - Bengaluru's suburban railway project. 

The project was approved by the Extended Railway Board (ERB) of the Indian Railways in November 2019. The only step left now is clearance from the Union cabinet, specifically the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). 

"For 36 years, all parties, Central and state governments, played football with suburban train project, resulting in terrible traffic and pollution. Now we are told the project needs Union cabinet clearance to move forward. Dear @narendramodi Bengaluru demands #ChukuBukuCabinetClearanceBeku," activist Srinivas Alavalli tweeted. He called for the cabinet approval to be given immediately. 

The Suburban Railway Project is a dedicated suburban railway service for Bengaluru. Estimated at a cost of Rs 15,900 crore, the project aims to build four corridors: Kengeri-Whitefield, KSR Bengaluru City- Rajanukunte, Nelamangala-Baiyappanahalli and Heelalige-Devenahalli. The revised DPR of the project states that it will include 57 stations and will have a 148 km railway network.  The state and central government will each share 50% of the cost of the project. 

Activists say that the suburban railway project will strengthen public transport in and around Bengaluru. Citizens groups such as Bengaluru Suburban Rail Users and Citizens for Bengaluru had led a series of campaigns calling for a suburban railway network to be built in the city. It has also been mooted as one of the solutions to the city's infamous traffic woes. 

In a separate Twitter campaign led by 'Hum Bharat ke Log', a collective of NGOs and citizen groups that have been protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), activists highlighted the hashtag #GoBackModi. This hashtag earlier trended during PM Modi's visit to Chennai in September 2019.