Suburban Rail project in Bengaluru: Moving forward inch-by-inch!

TAKING STOCK OF SUBURBAN RAILWAYS

Our work is to empower citizens, this is made possible by your donation. Donate
With increased burden on roads, Bengaluru needs suburban trains to decongest the city. Pic: Shree D N

The start of 2018 has seen a slew of announcements for the Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project, a project that was first proposed way back in 1983. The Government of Karnataka and Ministry of Railways, Government of India announced their official approval and slew of works to kickstart the actual suburban rail services in the city. Though it could be argued that the timing of the announcements which coincided the State Assembly elections was about political capital, it has put the project on an irreversible northward trajectory.

On January 31, 2018, Government of Karnataka came out with its announcement for setting up of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with Rs 1745 crore investment. Government of Karnataka officials confirmed that this is the Phase-1 cost, for which both GoK and Indian Railways will share 40% on 50-50 share, rest 60% to be borrowed from financial institutions.

That announcement was followed with Rs 17,000 crore allotted in the GOI 2018-19 Union Budget.  The Indian Railways threw its hat in the ring and promised elevated sections in the proposed suburban rail network of 440 kms. The rationale for elevated tracks was that some of the sections were saturated cannot accommodate more railway lines for Suburban Rail system. The execution will be a technical marvel if it comes through.

These two announcements have managed to move the project from government files to the drawing board and actual execution. The political ping pong over the project has now moved to firm commitments. Things are moving along, though at a very slow pace.

Here is the timeline of the project progress post 2018-19 budget announcements.

2018-19 Budget allocation and inclusion in Railway’s Pink Book

Quadrupling between Cantonment and Whitefield

Rs. 492.87 Crores

Doubling of Yeshwantpur – Byappanhalli-Channasandra line

Rs. 169.64 Crores

Doubling and Electrification of Byappanhalli – Hosur Line

Rs. 520.00 Crores

3rd Coaching Terminal @ Byappanhalli

Rs. 115.00 Crores

Yelahanka-Doddaballapur-Guntakal Doubling & Electrification

Rs. 250.00 Crores

First step towards a functional Special Purpose vehicle (SPV)

The Government of Karnataka took the first step with a letter to the Railway Board in April 2018, to discuss and agree on terms and conditions for setting up the Special Purpose Vehicle to execute the project.

In addition, the state is agreeing to increase the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) to 5 for railway lands in the city as requested by the Railways to participate in the project. This was one of the conditions from Railways to participate in 50-50 sharing for project funding. This agreement meant the two stakeholders could overcome the hurdle of the 80-20 formula that the Railways had introduced for Suburban Rail Projects in 2016 which requires State Governments to share 80% of the costs.  The increased FAR will allow the railways to build more floor area for commercial usage.

The ball is now in the Indian Railways’ court to respond to the GoK’s request, complete the formalities for the SPV and start this project on a war-footing. Any delay will only see a deterioration in the city’s traffic conditions. 

Works in progress

Sr No

Works in Progress

Project Cost (Crs)

Railway Share

GoK Share

1

3rd Coaching Terminal @ Byappanahalli

115

100%

0%

2

Yard Modelling – Shunting Neck Towards Binny Mill

 

100%

0%

3

Automatic Signaling System between Cantonment and Whitefield

 

100%

0%

4

Quadrupling & Electrification between Cantonment and Whitefield

480

100%

0%

5

Doubling & Electrification between Yelahanka and DB Pur

250

100%

0%

6

Doubling & Electrification between Byappanahalli and Hosur

375.76

100%

0%

7

Doubling of Yeshwantpur – Byappanahalli- Channasandra ( 21.70 )

169.65

100%

0%

8

Extension of Platforms at Byappanahalli

 

100%

0%

9

Foot Over Bridge at Hoody Station

 

MPLAD

0%

10

Building High Level Platforms at Krishandevaraya Halt station

 

MPLAD

0%

11

Upgrading MEMU Maintenance Shed at Banaswadi

26

5

21

12

Electrification between Chikkabanawara and Tumkur ( 55 Kms )

 

100%

0%

13

Manufacturing supply & Commissioning of pre-fabricated all weather covered shed for pit lines 1-4 @ Yeshwantpur

15.19

100%

0%

14

Infrastructure facilities (Coach Depot)  for improvement of coach Maintenance activities @ Yeshwantpur

3.9

100%

0%

15

Suburban Rail – SPV Formation, Augmentation of operational capacities and Suburban Services

12061

50%

50%

16

Extension of PF 5 & 6 Modification of FOB @ Bangarpet

0.45

100%

0%

17

MEMU Rakes Allocation

291

58.26 Crore                 ( 20 % )

233 Crore                 ( 80 % )

18

Elimination of Level Crossings across Bangalore Division

30

50%

50%

Works completed

Sr No

Works Completed

Project Cost (Crs)

Railway Share

GoK

Share

1

Doubling & Electrification between Bangalore -Mysore

 

33%

67%

2

Doubling & Electrification between Yeshwantpur and Yelahanka

 

100%

0%

3

Doubling & Electrification between Channasandra and Yelahanka

 

100%

0%

5

Halt Station @ Hoodi

MPLAD

 

0%

6

FOB @ At SBC, Chikkabanawar, Doddaballapur, Lottegolanhalli, Kodigehalli

 

100%

0%

7

MEMU Maintenance Shed @ Banaswadi

 

100%

0%

8

Tumkur station upgradation

15

100%

0%

New Suburban Services announced in 2018

A number of services were introduced starting in August 2017. Here is a list of all the new services that were announced since August 2017.

Service

Departure

Arrival

Benefits

Baiyyappanahall-Whitefield

(6568)

16:45

17.05

Suits early evening commuters like students, teachers connecting from Metro at Baiyyappanahalli towards whitefield.

Whitefield – Byappanahalli

(6567)

9:00

9:20

Suits office/college goers for Metro connection at BYPL.

Byappanahalli-KSR Bengaluru

(6569)

18:45

19:15

Connects/Continues from 6593 coming from Whitefield.

KSR Bengaluru – Byappanahalli

(6570)

19:50

20:15

Connects/Continues as 6594 to Whitefield. Good timing for morning commute towards KR Puram and Whitefield.

Banaswadi-Hosur

(6571)

9:50

11:00

Good choice for afternoon travel towards EC/Anekal/Hosur

Hosur-Banaswadi

(6572)

11:15

12:25

Late Morning travel to City from Hosur/Anekal/EC/Bellandur

Banaswadi-Hosur

(6573)

12:40

13:45

Good for late office goers towards EC/Anekal/Hosur

Hosur-Banaswadi

(6574)

15:20

16:40

Best suited for students/ early shift workers.

Note: This article was co-authored by Khader B Syed and Sanjeev V Dyamannavar.


About Khader B Syed 9 Articles
Born in Bangalore, engineer by education and profession, Currently based in USA. Co-Founder, Praja - RAAG (Research, Analysis and Advocacy Group).

1 Comment

  1. Where will the Railways find land for adding two more lines on the KSR- KR Puram stretch?
    Will there be a public discussion on the plan before implementation and will citizens come to know about this?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*