The commuter catchment for Byappanahalli and travelling to Whitefield actually comprises of many segments.
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The first one is the work force who commute regularly from and around Byappanahalli which is estimated at 20000 commuters per day.
The number of persons working in Whitefield area, belonging to both industrial and service sector, is estimated to be 2.5 lakhs. One estimate suggests that 75% to 80% of this work force is coming from areas beyond Byappanahalli. The number of commuters therefore would be around 180000 to 200000. This is the second segment.
The third segment comprises of persons who come to Whitefield for their business purpose. It is variously estimated at 10,000 to 25,000.
Most of these people today travel to Whitefield by road, except for 18,000 to 20,000 persons travelling by train. In other words there are more than 2,00,000 commuters who are dependent on road transport like buses, cabs, autos and private cars. Most of these today would prefer to travel by train because of the ongoing construction work of Metro with the consequent traffic chaos.
Under such circumstances we require a DEMU/MEMU service every 10 minutes both in the morning and evening peak hours. That is why a sense of urgency is required in increasing the frequency of the DEMU/MEMU services.
Once the Metro becomes operational these trains can operate on long distance routes like Malur – Ramanagara, Whitefield – Hosur, Malur – Chikkaballapur etc. We require a forward thinking approach and not the present highly politicised game of one-upmanship. The above scheme can be a reality in the next six month and will help in solving the nightmarish traffic problems. Can we expect a fast and immediate response from our distinguished elected representatives and the railway authorities?