Feb 4, 2017

Rail budget derails Bengaluru division’s plans



Image used for representational purpose only.

BENGALURU: The non-sanctioning of doubling of three railway projects and the meagre allocation towards passenger amenities for the South Western Railway zone has come as a huge disappointment to the Bengaluru Railway Division.
The Suburban Rail Project has taken a beating due to the non-sanctioning of doubling line between Yelahanka and Baiyappanahalli, which was crucial to run more trains. The enhanced allocation for passenger safety is the only silver lining.

Responding to the Pink Book (register with details of all projects and allocations) 2017-2018 tabled by the Railway Ministry in Parliament on Friday, a top railway official said, “The Railway budget is really very disappointing. Nothing we required has been sanctioned.” This view found many backers. 

The meagre amount of Rs 39.59 crore towards passenger amenities for the entire zone has put to rest all plans of providing better amenities for passengers, said top railway sources.

“This amount has to be split between Bengaluru, Hubballi and Mysuru Railway Divisions and we will get a little more than one-third of it. We were looking at about `100 crore to be sanctioned for the SWR zone,” he said.

Doubling projects not sanctioned

There were three doubling projects the division had requested the Railway Board to sanction.

“The Yeshwantpur-Baiyappanahalli line forms a part of the proposed suburban rail service. How can we run suburban trains in the already congested route? Doubling this track was absolutely vital,” said a top official.

Also left out from the Pink Book was a day train to connect Hubballi and Mysuru via Bengaluru.

What Bengaluru Division gets Passenger Safety

“Rs 724.25 crore earmarked for passenger safety for the zone is a huge allocation compared to the previous years,” said Sanjiv Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, Bengaluru Division. Additional Divisional Railway Manager Aparna Garg said Rs 386.01 crore has been sanctioned for railway track renewals while Rs 207.77 crore has been allocated for the ongoing road over-bridge/road under-bridge and other road safety works.

Boost for Baiyappanahalli station

The Baiyappanahalli railway station has been allocated Rs 32 crore. Ashok Gupta, Chief Administrative Officer, South Western Railway, said, “By August 2018, we hope to have three platforms ready at this station as well as circulating area and other amenities.”

Electrification

A big boost has been given for electrification in the division with a 456km length line sanctioned between Chikkabanavar and Hubballi at a cost of Rs 551.6 crore. Another electrification okayed is the 196km line between Bengaluru and Omalur via Hosur at a cost of Rs 152.83 crore, says an official release. - New Indian Express