Published On:November 28 2023
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"Railways Rejects Government Proposal to Explore Suburban Rail Expansion"

The state government's proposal to conduct a pre-feasibility study for the extension of Bengaluru's yet-to-commence suburban rail network to Mysuru, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, and neighboring towns faces obstacles as top railway officials assert there is no justification for such an inquiry.

The issue gained prominence in discussions related to mobility when Infrastructure Minister MB Patil suggested that Rail Infrastructure Development Company-Karnataka (K-Ride) expand the suburban rail network to towns surrounding the tech capital to enhance connectivity. However, in response to K-Ride, South Western Railway (SWR) contended that Indian Railways had already conducted sufficient planning to meet future demand, deeming an additional study unnecessary.

K-Ride, a joint venture of the state and central governments, is responsible for executing the 148-km Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (BSRP). The SWR letter urged K-Ride to prioritize faster execution and completion of existing works, citing delays in progress. It emphasized that several measures had been implemented to enhance connectivity between Bengaluru and satellite towns, including track upgrades and speed enhancements on corridors such as Bengaluru-Jolarpettai, Bengaluru-Dharmavaram, and Bengaluru-Tumakuru. The letter noted the completion of work to increase speed to 130 kmph on the Bengaluru-Bangarpet-Jolarpet section.

The ongoing quadrupling of the section from Bengaluru Cantonment to Whitefield, with automatic signaling, is targeted for completion in 2024-25. Additionally, the final location survey for quadrupling the Bangarpet-Jolarpet, Bengaluru-Tumakuru, and Bengaluru-Mysuru sections has been sanctioned, reflecting the Railways' commitment to enhancing rail infrastructure in the region.

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