A new station at Hoodi in Bengaluru’s Whitefield was inaugurated on Wednesday by Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan.

Suburban rail in Bengaluru gets a little push as Lok Sabha polls near
news Transport Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 17:58

It’s been a long-standing demand from IT professionals and with weeks to go for the Lok Sabha Elections, Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan on Wednesday inaugurated a new station at Hoodi in Whitefield. Located between KR Puram and Whitefield Railway station in the Cantonment-Whitefield line in the eastern fringe of the city, the Hoodi station is near many major IT-BT offices The new station is likely to relatively ease the traffic gridlock witnessed in the neighbouring areas.

Along with the station, which has two platforms, a footover bridge was also made open for the public. Amenities like platform shelters, granite benches, ticket booking counters, toilets and the footover bridge were developed with the MPLAD funds of PC Mohan.

Other than these, Mohan also used his MPLAD fund for the road widening project at the level crossing at Carmelaram Station. All this comes well before the Election Commission announces polls and the Model Code of Conduct kicks in.    

Narendra Kumar, an activist working on various issues gives Mohan credit for inaugurating the Hudi station, he points out that the promise of the Bengaluru’s suburban rail is yet to be implemented.  “While it is true that PC Mohan is the only MP who has worked on the issues involving railways, this seems like a lolipop before the elections. The common man wishes that despite the huge cost of elections, they happen every now and then.”

He added, “The same type of lolipop will be given next year too. What we need is a comprehensive suburban rail system. Unfortunately, the state government is not giving even this much. They are going to construct elevated corridor but can’t agree to the conditions to form the SPV.”

In the recent Union Budget, Rs 300 crore for eight projects related to the suburban rail project has been allocated even though the Centre and state are yet to reach on a consensus over the formation of a special purpose vehicle.

Another activist, Sandeep Anirudhan said, “While we are thankful to PC Mohan for his interventions, these are long pending requirements.” He added, “What we require are systemic changes so that the rail system within the city can be prioritised and used for local commute."

The inaugurations on Wednesday was preceded by the recent commissioning of automatic signaling systems in the 19-km stretch between Bangalore Cantonment station and Whitefield. Long overdue, the automatic signaling was an important step necessary for increasing the number of suburban trains in this stretch.

Activists also point out that starting from 2018 there have been several announcements compared to the previous three years. From the start of 2018, 10 new suburban trains were also added.