Commuter Rail Services Essential For City Say Citizen Groups

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   (2012-07-16 00:00:00)

Bangalore:While Namma Metro takes shape all across the Bangalore, citizen groups made a strong case for alternative commuter rail services (CRS) in the City.

There are railway tracks, laid by the Indian railways, lying under-used across the city, as valuable infrastructure that is potentially helpful for a large population, said Sanjeev Dyamannavar from the Research, Analysis & Advocacy Group of Praja, a social media organisation working on urban issues, speaking at a public discussion in the city on Sunday.

It would also be people friendly, as it would cover the industrial areas of Dodballapur, Chikballapur, Bangarpet, Nidavanda and Bidadi, benefiting the labourers there, he said. “Educational institutes scattered around the city and hospitals are also expected to be connected.”

“In Bangalore, we are moving more vehicles rather than people”, he said. According to his argument, CRS offers a four times longer network at one fifth of the cost of the Metro railway. “CRS connects the Bangalore city suburbs in all directions within 70 to 100 km radius and covers about 405 km at the cost of Rs. 8.000 crore whereas the Metro railway covers just 115 kilometres at the cost of Rs. 38,000 crore,” he added.

“Just as with the Metro, CRS can be ramped up to provide more seating facilities with more services during peak hours. CRS project is attractive to the long term conservation of the city, as it is proposed without disturbing city landscapes”, he said.

RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Services) has submitted a report in the last week of June about CRS, highlighting its importance to the growing needs of the city. On completion of the project, in three phases, it is estimated to serve 20 lakh commuters a day.

“Technically the entire process is feasible, but the ball is now in the court of state government,” Dyamannavar said.

Prof. T.G. Sitaram, chairman of the Center for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transport and Urban Planning, Indian Institute of Science, in his keynote address, said that while the Metro railway can serve the central business districts, CRS can serve more suburbs and remote areas.