Opening this line would connect residents in the area to Baiyappanahalli, which is linked to the metro.

Open unused railway line between Yeshwanthpur and Baiyappanahalli Bluru citizen group demandsImage for representation
news Transport Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 17:37

Citizen groups in suburban areas of Bengaluru have started a petition to extend the suburban train system operating between Hosur and Banaswadi to Yeshwanthpur.

The South Western Railway’s Bengaluru Division introduced a new schedule of suburban trains from Hosur to Banaswadi and vice-versa on March 3.

While Bengalureans welcomed the move to strengthen the city’s fledgling suburban railway system, Citizens for Better Bengaluru, a civic group in the city, wants the unused railway track between Yeshwanthpur and Hosur to be opened.

Starting this line between Yeshwanthpur and Baiyappanahalli would connect residents in the area to Baiyappanahalli, one of the starting points of the Bengaluru metro’s purple line.

Arguing that the track, which was built in 1922, remains unconnected with Bengaluru’s suburban railway network, members of this group asked why the Railway Department is unwilling to use existing tracks to expand its service.

The group has issues a petition asking for the extension of the line and are now collecting signatures to strengthen this petition. They even spoke to commuters on the existing suburban trains.

Manish J, one of the group members who did the survey said, “When I boarded the train from Banaswadi on Friday, I found that there are a lot of IT employees and unorganised labourers who travel on the route. Many of them board the train at Hosur and get off at Heelalige and Hebbal. We received close to 500 signatures when we spoke to them about the campaign to extend the line.”

The citizen group has also started a petition on Change which has got over 600 signatures so far. In total, the group claims that over 2000 people have supported the petition by signing it.

Further, adding a train from Yashwanthpur to Hosur via Baiyappanahalli will help decongest traffic in the area, said Pradeep KS, another member of the group.

“By connecting Baiyappanahalli to the suburban train system, a lot of people who currently travel by road to Yashwanthpur for metro connectivity will start using the rail system,” he said.

He added that it would not only benefit the sizable number of people working in IT firms but also help people reach APMC Market in Yashwanthpur. “It would benefit labourers and vegetable sellers who work at the Agricultural Produce Market. There are also many garment factories near Yashwanthpur and Peenya who go to Banaswadi to catch trains as there is no metro connectivity there. If a line is started from Yeshwanthpur, it will help these people,” added Pradeep.

Citizen groups had launched a campaign called Chuku Buku Beku in December 2016 demanding a well-connected intra-city railway network to solve the city’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 kms of track and 40 stations is already ready.

Recently, the state government approved Rs 350 crore towards the project after the central government included it in its budget for the year.

Currently, four trains (06571, 06572, 06573 and 06574) are operating between Hosur and Banaswadi.

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