New DPR to make B’luru suburban rail cheaper, shorter
Bengaluru: Railway officials are set to push for the Bengaluru suburban rail project by sending the revised feasibility report, which has reduced the number of stations as well as the length of the alignment as per the conditions laid down by the prime minister’s office.
The number of stations has come down from 86 to 62 while the length of the alignment has been shortened by 12.33 km. The new suburban rail alignment of five corridors will have a length of 148 km and is expected to reduce the cost by Rs 5,000 crore. The previous DPR had estimated the cost at Rs 19,500 crore.
“As per the PMO’s directions, the stations proposed inside the city have been eliminated, reducing the requirement for land and saving the cost. Changes have been made in the corridor alignment for the benefit of people commuting from outside the city rather than the core area,” said sources in the South Western Railway.
The previous proposal to connect Nelamangala has also been dropped by terminating the line at Chikkabanavara. The corridor will exploit the quadrupling of the Bengaluru Cantonment-Whitefield line and utilise two additional lines for running the local trains,
The Kengeri line has been terminated at Bengaluru Cantonment while the Heelalige-Devanahalli corridor has been tweaked to connect Rajanukunte instead.
The state government has taken steps to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for implementing the suburban rail project.
Officials are working on the Bangalore Integrated Rail Infrastructure Development Enterprises Limited (B-RIDE), which will be headed by Amit Garg, who is expected to be relieved from the SWR soon, an official said.
Delayed by four months
Urban transport activist Sanjeev Dyamannavar noted that the work on the project had been delayed by four months due to a revision of the Detailed Project Report (DPR). “Thankfully, activities have not stopped as they have appointed a senior official to head the SPV. With the BJP set to take up the reins in the state, there should be no more difference with the Centre. The SPV should take off soon with the appointment of board members for expediting the project,” he said.
The corridors of the revised DPR do not include connectivity to the Kempegowda International Airport. However, the documents suggest that the line to Devanahalli can be extended to the airport at a low cost.
Dyamannavar noted that since the metro line will be convenient for commuters travelling from southern and eastern parts of Bengaluru to the airport, connecting the airport with Devanahalli will benefit many people.