“Bengaluru Fast Track Commuter Rail Project”: Online Petition Gains Momentum

In October 2020, the Union Government sanction had categorically mentioned that the Bangalore Commuter Rail project should be fully completed within six years from the date of the sanction.

Although delayed for two decades, the people of Bangalore pinned their hopes on the commuter rail project in the city which the Union government sanctioned in October 2020. It is a much demanded infrastructure to solve the eternal traffic disorder in the city. The project is being executed by the Karnataka Rail Infrastructure Development Company (K-RIDE), a joint venture between the Union and the state government. However, since the announcement, there has been no fieldwork so far.

In October 2020, the Union Government Assent had categorically mentioned that the entire project must be completed within six years from the date of Assent. He also said that the airport-city line should be built as a priority and within three years. The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) of the state government had also advised that the airport line project should be executed first. However, in January 2021, the K-RIDE instead prioritized work on the other lines, leaving rail activists disappointed (here’s why). The other three lines that are part of the project are Byappanahalli-Yeshwantpur-Chikkabanavara; Kengeri-Cantonment-Whitefield; and Heelalige-Byappanahalli-Rajanukunte.

But citizens are not yet ready to give up on their longstanding demand. On January 17, 2022, a citizen and railway activist, Rajkumar Dugar, renewed the request to start the commuter rail project, prioritizing the airport corridor. Since January 31, its online site petition garnered over 3,000 signatures. The petition, which aims to collect at least 5,000 signatures, was addressed to the Prime Minister, Minister of Railways, Chief Minister of Karnataka, all MPs and State MPs, Chief Secretary and to all officials concerned.

Read: Bengaluru Commuter Rail Project: Works on airport line delayed, campaigners appalled

Bangalore Central MP PC Mohan, who has been a strong supporter of the campaign for the commuter rail scheme, said he had asked the Chief Minister to prioritize the airport line. Speaking to TNM, he said: ‘I have asked the Chief Minister to look into the matter. I will talk to him about it again.

The MP, however, alleged that work is progressing well on surveying and other pre-civil works. “Tenders have been launched and in two months work will begin,” he added.

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