Decks cleared for Bengaluru suburban railway project

[] The Karnataka government and the Indian Railways have sorted out contentious issues between them, paving the way for the implementation of the Rs 17,000-crore and 160-km-long suburban railway project in Bengaluru

Decks have been cleared, for the implementation of the two-decades-old suburban railway project for Bengaluru, with contentious issues being sorted out at a meeting jointly chaired by railway minister Piyush Goyal and Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. The railway minister took all decisions and he sorted out all the issues, Kumaraswamy said after the meeting, attended by officials of the two sides. Goyal described it as a ‘world class project’ and said all the issues had been resolved.

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He said the centre changed its suburban railway policy, amending the state and the central contribution from 80:20 to 50:50 ratio. The about Rs 17,000-crore and 160-km-long project, which seeks to connect Bengaluru with its suburbs, was approved by the state government recently. In December 2018, Goyal had pushed for expediting the project, when a delegation led by JDS supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy met him in New Delhi, to discuss the project.

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The project, which has been in the pipeline for two decades, was announced in the union budget for 2018-19 to cater to the growth of Bengaluru metropolis, subject to mandatory approvals and sanctions. The state government had raised 19 issues, including extension of the project to important satellite towns and economically important clusters, connectivity to the airport, cost of railway land on nominal lease basis and development of stations in phases.

Goyal, said there will be 12 interchanges and the plan drawn up, was of international standard. “At some point there will be three levels. There will be road, metro and railways. It is a world-class project we are bringing to a world-class city,” the railway minister said. The railways also agreed to give Rs 6,000 crores worth of land free of charge for the project. The land will be given at Re one token lease rent, which is outside the suburban policy. So, it is actually free of charge, Goyal added. Regarding the Kolar Railway coach factory, he said it will be reviewed as the focus was on the optimum usage of the Rae Bareli coach factory.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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