Bengaluru, India (Urban Transport News): To boost urban rail transit connectivity in the city, the Karnataka government has allocated Rs 500 crore for Bengaluru suburban rail project in its state budget for 2020-21. In Union Budget 2020-21, the Central Government had also set aside Rs 18,600 crores for the much-delayed suburban rail project as an alternative mass transit solution to decongest Bengaluru.
Announcing the allocation of Rs 500 crore for the Bengaluru suburban rail project, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that public transport systems need to be strengthened and extended in order to reduce traffic density in Bengaluru. This project will be a major step in the direction of developing a public transport system in Bengaluru.
The government has also decided to bear 50 percent of the project expenditure for the doubling of Byappanahalli-Hosur and Yeshwantpur-Channasandra railway tracks. Earlier, it had insisted on the 20:20 model with the railways, saying the remaining 60 percent of the funding requirement should be fulfilled through soft loans from the financial institutions. Apart from this, the state government has suggested bus priority lanes in 12 high-density traffic corridors which are accounted for 80% of the traffic congestion in Bengaluru.
“These zones measure up to 190km and it is proposed to get them developed under the supervision of Karnataka Road Development Authority. An estimated amount of Rs 500 crore will be spent on this,” said Yediyurappa, TOI reported. The government has also planned to initiate some measures to reduce traffic congestion in Hebbal, Silk Board and KR Puram junctions. “Infrastructure facilities, transit-based development, and essential regulatory measures will ensure that the utilisation of public transport increases from 48 percent to 73 percent,” he added.
Bengaluru suburban rail is a proposed commuter rail network for Bengaluru city which was first approved in the 2019 Railway Budget. Subsequently, On 1st February 2020, Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned in her budget that the project would be implemented at a cost of Rs 18,600 crores.