Residents of Whitefield and surrounding areas of greater Bengaluru have some cause for cheer, as there will finally be four lines between Bangalore Cantonment and Whitefield. The project has been pending for two decades now.
"One track will be built on either side of the existing two lines. The project will be taken up immediately, and we have planned for it to be completed within a period of two or three years. It will be a boon to the local public of Bengaluru, especially for those belonging to the IT hub of Whitefield area," the Railway ministry said.
The project will cost the Railways Rs 492.87 crore, and is expected to benefit over 60,000 commuters.
“All metros in India have more than two lines. But until recently, Bengaluru did not have even a double line. As a result, trains had to be stopped to make way for others. It would earlier take at least an hour to reach KSR station from Whitefield,” said E Vijaya, Chief Public Relations Officer, South Western Railway.
A huge boost to the suburban railway system, it was demanded by the citizens during the Chuku Buku Beku in Bengaluru. This is expected also help ease the infamous traffic snarl in the city.
The project to double the number of lines of the corridor from Whitefield to Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna (Majestic) was sanctioned in 1997-98, but the project never took off due to the paucity of funds and high cost attributed to land acquisition.
This decision comes at a time when clearances for long-awaited projects are expected both from the state and central government as the state goes to polls this year and the Centre's elections will be held next year.
Earlier this week, the SWR announced that 12 trains between Bengaluru-Mysuru will run with AC traction which means that the services will be punctual in addition to proving cost-efficient to the railways.
Earlier this month, eight new local trains were launched, which included two trains on Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield route.
To the ease of suburban rail users, the SWR also allowed ticketing on its UTS (unreserved ticketing) mobile app in February.