In my earlier article dated August 19th, I had advocated the creation of a halt station on existing railway tracks, i.e. optimal use of resources, in turn saving our tax money. I would like to applaud Whitefield Rising for taking up this initiative and raising funds for the halt station. I was earlier requested to do a preliminary analysis by visiting sites at these locations, analyse feasibility and share my insights.
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We should certainly go ahead with setting up halt stations between the junctions from Byappanhalli to IOL, Soukhya Spa (i.e. KIADB Phase II where there are warehouses). Often we just look at solving the problem temporarily and without proper planning, we end up creating problems for the future. Here are some insights about this project.
- Byappanhalli junction: There should be a multi-level parking of vehicles/bicycles, on either side i.e. Old Madras Road and Kasturi Nagar. The existing feeder road from Kasturi Nagar to Old Madras Road to 60 feet road can be expanded on either side.
- KR Puram Junction: Either close the KR Puram station stop or shift the parking from Old Madras Road on to the north side. Close passenger access on Old Madras Road and erect a 12 feet wall.
- Phoenix Mall Halt Station: Through the week, there is an 80% increase in traffic from commuters from north and east Bangalore, which adds to the traffic woes. As an incentive to the visitors of Phoenix Mall, the malll should encourage its visitors to use Metro train, and in turn, it can give them discount coupons ranging from 1% to 2%. In turn, Phoenix Mall can save on expenses on traffic management (i.e. employee, maintenance etc.)
- Sadarmangla Halt Station/ITPL Cargo Station Halt: We currently have a cargo station at Sadarmangla. We need to upgrade it to make it usable by the corridors on both sides i.e. ITPL/Prestige Shantiniketan and Sadarmangla. A sky walk can be built directly from the halt station to ITPL and to Prestige Shantiniketan, and similarly on to the other side, i.e. Sadarmangla.
- Kadugodi Halt Station: A lot of area is currently available at Kadugodi for creating planned parking bays.
- Soukhya Spa Halt Station: This is going to be the new Whitefield area with a lot of development and schools in its vicinity. It is important to plan for this right now by estimating the current volume of Whitefield and multiplying it by a factor of 5. A flyover could be constructed at the railway crossing before Soukhya Spa, for commute to Hosakote/DPS Whitefield.
- IOL Reservoir Halt Station: This area is widely used by warehouse and manufacturing industries, so the volumes are likely to hit three-fold in the next three years.
The possibility of leasing out a few trains from Central Railways and floating a private limited company to manage the trains, or running them under BMRCL should be explored.
In Switzerland, there was the provision of a single ticket for either bus or rail or other forms of transport. If the commuter purchased it for a year, the discount used to be higher. We can introduce a single window ticket for all services. Companies can enforce this by providing them to their employees, to encourage such facilities.
With reference to traffic modelling, I am currently trying to collect real-time GPS logs. If there is any real-time GPS log, we can predict, model and plan accordingly. The Directorate of Town Planning and BBMP should ensure that all main roads are at least 100 to 120 feet in width, and feeder roads at least 80 feet. No approvals should be given to apartments unless there is a 100 to 120 feet road. Giving approvals just because BBMP gets revenue does not make sense.