Dear Rail Minister, railway infra in Bengaluru needs upgradation, not elevation

OPEN LETTER FROM BENGALURU TO THE RAILWAY MINISTER

With increased burden on roads, Bengaluru needs suburban trains to decongest the city. Pic: Shree D N

Dear Railway Minister,

Bengaluru doesn’t need elevated railway tracks. There is a 2012 RITES report on Suburban Rail System gathering dust in your offices that talks about what is needed for Namma Bengaluru. Please take some moments and see what this reports says. I am sure after reading this document you will hang your head in shame. The current state of railways is not of your making but a result of decades of not doing the hard work of upgrading and bringing in required efficiencies.

It is reported in news that you have suggested to have elevated tracks to decongest Bengaluru’s roads. Sorry sir, for decongesting Bengaluru’s roads and removing bottle necks, we don’t need elevated tracks. It needs upgradation of existing railway infrastructure which has been put on back burners for decades.

What is urgently needed is approval to the ‘Suburban Rail System’ proposal that is gathering dust with your ministry. If you are really concerned about Bengaluru traffic, please spare a few moments and give the approval for the Government of Karnatakaa’s proposal that is with your ministry since 2013.

Let us know if you can approve this project on priority. or your information, if the Suburban rail project is implemented, it will support 25 lakh commuter trips. This means 5-8 lakh private vehicles off the road. I don’t need to apprise you on what this means in terms of reduction on private vehicles on roads, improvement in pollution conditions and eliminating congestion on roads.

Sir, I would call upon you to start paying attention to the perpetual congestion in your railway networks in all our big cities. Due to continuous neglect by every Railway Minister, we have allowed colossal inefficiencies to creep into the railway operations. This is resulting in saturation of tracks, trains running late and ultimately decreased revenues on daily basis. If there is one thing you could do, please get cracking on upgrading tracks, stations, signaling system and complete re-haul of our coaches. We don’t need 20 different train categories. We just need three-four categories with decent seating arrangements and passenger amenities

If you are really concerned about railways in Bengaluru city, please get these works started right away.

1. Doubling/quadrapuling of all the railway lines that run through the city.
2. Electrification of all routes
3. Installation of Automatic Signalling System
4. More halt stations
5. Converting existing terminals like KSR, Cantonment, Yashwantpur into passing terminals.
6. Creating coaching terminals on the outskirts of the city.
7. Employ more operational staff for safety and maintenance.
8. Removing all manual railway crossings.
9. Completing all the Railway over-bridges and under-bridges which are in construction for years.
10. Adjust timings of long distance train to make slots for suburban services.

In conclusion, if you are really serious and committed, we can make Bengaluru less-congested. We can do it without having to spend thousands of crores on elevated track proposal.

Bengaluru will look forward to see if you are really concerned and ready to lend a helping hand. Can we look forward to approval of the Suburban Railway Project?

Sincerely,
Khader B Syed

Note: This was originally published on Khader Syed’s facebook profile, as a response to the news of central government commissioning a feasibility study on elevated railway tracks, and republished here with his permission.

About Khader B Syed 7 Articles

Born in Bangalore, engineer by education and profession, Currently based in USA. Co-Founder, Praja – RAAG (Research, Analysis and Advocacy Group).

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