Bengaluru, India (Urban Transport News): Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is likely to lay the foundation stone of the long-awaited Bengaluru Suburban Rail project next month. For this, Karnataka Government has sought a date from the Prime Minister's Office.
In October 2020, Central Government had approved Bengaluru Suburban Rail project with an estimated cost of Rs 15,657-crore. However, no formal announcement was made due to the model code of conduct in the state.
Sources said that the state government wants the foundation stone to be laid before the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections and also to operationalise a small section of one of the four corridors before the 2023 assembly polls.
Karnataka Rail Infrastructure Development Enterprises (K-RIDE) has been selected as a nodel body to execute the project. K-RIDE has recruited around 60 staffers so far and is planning to recruit more personnel in the next few months.
Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has been appointed as the nodal agency to acquire required land for the project.
The 148 km suburban rail project will comprise four corridors: KSR Bengaluru City-Yelahanka-Devanahalli (41km), Byappanahalli-Yeshwantpur-Chikkabanavara (25km), Kengeri-Cantonment-Whitefield (35km) and Heelalige-Yelahanka-Rajanukunte (46km). Work on Byappanahalli-Yeshwantpur-Chikkabanavara and Heelalige-Yelahanka-Rajanukunte is likely to be taken up first, according to plan.
K-RIDE is also planning to float a tender for ‘station planning’ of 57 stations. “We have already floated tenders for land and geotechnical surveys. Notification for land acquisition will be issued soon. The idea of station planning involves designing stations as commercial hubs and improving the integration of suburban rail with other modes. Tenders for civil work will be called by March. The project will be expedited once the PM lays the foundation stone,” said an official very close to the development of this project.
K-RIDE will install a countdown clock to track the number of days left for the deadline. "We are planning to set up a countdown clock to remind officials to speed up work. We don’t have any competition with BMRCL but hope to make it better than Metro,” said an official.
For more details, please explore the "Bengaluru Suburban Rail" page of Urban Transport News.