Any old Bangalorean would be surprised to see the way Whitefield has grown beyond imagination. However, the infrastructure in the area hasn’t seen so much improvement.
If you thought nobody bothers about this, you are wrong. Whitefield residents want to make a difference by asking the government agencies about what they want. They have already requested a stop for more trains that pass Whitefield railway station. Bruhat Whitefield Residential Community Association (BWRCA) members have submitted a memorandum to the Railway Divisional manager, in this regard.
P S Narayanan, the Vice-president of Nitesh Forest Hills Apartment Owners Welfare Association, took the initiative and collected all the information required to draft the memorandum. Around 3500 signatures were collected from 20 communities. All 130 pages with signatures were scanned for the future record, collated and the originals were spiral-bound.
Recently, on January 16, 2014, P S Narayanan, Anantharaman Ramasamy, Sampath Ramanujan and Jaydev Rajamani, members of BWRCA, went to the Railway Divisional Office at City Station and submitted the memorandum to the senior divisional manager. They met the Divisional Operations Manager who gives the clearance, recommendation and feasibility report to the Railway Board for this request.
The petition had the following points:
The number of residents in this area has increased 300% in the last one year. Going by the construction stage of other new residential complexes, the number would increase manyfold in the near future.
There are two major 4-lane roads connecting Bangalore city with Whitefield namely Whitefield road via Mahadevapura and Varthur road via Marathahalli.
There are about 30 Trains which pass through Whitefield Railway Station (WFD)
As of now, the number of trains that halt here is very less.
The area is developing very fast, as an IT hub with over 3.5 lakh techies commuting from the city.
It also has 6 international schools and 30,000 apartments. There are about 24 villages around Whitefield.
Introducing a stop at Whitefield would take the traffic burden off the major roads, besides connecting Whitefield easily and efficiently with the city centre. It would also reduce the time and money spent on travelling, and will serve as an alternative to the K R Puram station which is not able to handle the pressure of the regular traffic.
A stop at Whitefield will also be a boon to the patients who visit Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences and Vaidehi hospital to get treatment for neurological, heart and cancer ailments.
Rs 40 spent on roundtrip for 4 people!
The Divisional Operations Manager listened to the residents patiently and gave an assurance that he would give the necessary recommendation. If everything goes fine, the normal process to approve the stops will take 4 to 5 months, the residents were told.
On their way back, the team gave the copy to the Station Master at Whitefield Division too. Anantharaman Ramasamy says: “It was a picnic-like relaxing trip and a smooth ride to the in the Passenger train between Whitefield and Majestic(SBC). Done with our work by 10.30 am and roaming around city area like villagers till 12, we took the train back. It was time well-spent and the work got done. The round trip costed Rs. 40 for 4 people and less than 2 hours of travel time both ways put together. Imagine how much time, money, energy, pollution can be saved if more trains stop in Whitefield.”
Sampath Ramanujan, one of the members of BWRCA, also reveals the plans of BWRCA to approach the Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, who is incidentally elected from the state. This will keep the pressure on, he believes.