Commuter Rail meeting with Chief Secretary, GoK

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Commuter Rail

Meeting was called today by Chief Secretary SV Ranganath on request from V Madhu, Principal Secretary to GoK, Infrastructure Development Department to move forward commuter rail for Bangalore.

Madhu kicked off the proceedings by describing the commuter rail proposition. He articulated the service as described in the Praja Call to Action report and clearly stated what is currently in place is not a system but just a train going back & forth. He asked help of CS to get ok from Railways to prepare a study and kickstart the project.

The CS then stated Railway Board was the right place to raise this next so things can move forward. He mentioned he would meet with the Chairman Railway Board on his next trip to Delhi and take the board chairman along to meet the Cabinet Secretary and also Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission. He also intended to connect with K Kasturirangan, Member Planning Commission in this regard.

The TOR prepared in conjunction with IISc was also placed before the Chief Secretary

My takeaways from this meeting

  • DRM is convinced SPV is the way to go and agrees to provide freedom of pricing under the ambit of the SPV
  • He was okay if the SPV wanted to have complete operational freedom as long as a fee was apportioned to IR
  • IDD and the GoK now fully grasp the alignment and salient features of a Commuter Rail system
  • They understand the role of Commuter Rail in spatial planning for BMR region
  • They understand the challenges in the SBC>BNC>BYP alignments and the need to start without that segment
  • They are ploughing ahead with the next steps in making this happen.

Chief Secretary Meet - CRS next steps



Light at the end of the tunnel

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Truly a milestone todays meeting was considering the commuter rail system is fully understood in all perspectives by (representatives of) GoK and after 27 years of the idea rusting around, this govt has resolved to take the next step forward and to completion.

Request the others who attended to provide their perspective

A great meeting - things looking up!

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Agree with IDS - there is probably going to be action now on Commuter rail after all these decades of neglect.

Chief Secy Mr Ranganath appeared committed to Commuter rail as did all others. Mr Ranganath promised to take it up with Railway board on his next visit to Delhi. He described the Beijing south railway station, stating that it was better & bigger than BIAL!

What was most inspiring was to see Mr Madhu's push for the meeting & for CRS after his disinterest & reluctance in most of the past meetings !

We have to now monitor progress & await the DPR, which may take some time to prepare.

Good meeting, heartening to see the support

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Definitely felt like a good meeting

  • Mr Madhu's support is very very welcome, his department seems to be the one, and they are determined to move it forward.
  • Was very heartening to see how Commuter rail is seen by all as a de-congestion solution to spread Bangalore around to Satellite towns and beyond.
  • South Western Railways definitely seemed positive (a large contingent from SWR Bangalore was present at the meeting), as Chief Secy Mr Ranganath was saying, we have to be aware of the limitations that local divisions of SWR may have and should take it up with Railway Board.

We have been able to come this far mainly due to great support from Prof Sitharam (CISTUP), and Mr V Madhu, IDD. Thank you both, and we all look fwd to a DPR, real soon!

A quick photo, as we waited before the meeting. Pardon the poor quality, phone pic.

Cool updates.  Does anybody

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Cool updates.  Does anybody have access to the earlier RITES studies? Hopefully, the new DPR will be in general agreement with the earlier studies.

While the big picture service / alignment proposals are being "kicked" around in bureaucracy, may be smaller, more doable issues like shuttle service to the existing train stations to make them more visible, better advertisements of existing train service through media (radio, newspapers) could also be pursued.  Since Mr. Madhu is on-board, another meeting with him and BMTC could yield concrete action on ground in the near term. 

Another short-term action item would be for Railways to enter into MoU with state govt. (who in turn could pursue PPP) for upgradation of amenities, cleanliness of the existing stations. In other words, outsourcing of maintenance and commercial / service ventures in the station premises like at the airport. Service charges and non-distracting advertisements can be allowed to recoup the cost of the services provided. The service charges can include "platform" fees for non train ticket holders, taking elderly people for a ride ;-) in electric vehicles, shower / toilet facilities, wheeled porter facilities, shops selling items etc. (of course, leasing surplus land around stations to hotels / commercial ventures will be even more profitable but that may be asking too much :-)). Don't know if SW division of railways have that autonomy or even if minor things like that need to be decided at the center. The above should bring up our station facilities on par with those abroad.

Wow, NR campaign is really moving forward,

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SB, IDS, Naveen,

Many thanks for taking time off to attend meetings with GOK officiuals and carrying on the NR campaign. Keep up the good work.

Couple of  question though - Who has been assigned to do the DPR?Do the DPR has to wait till the Railway board OKs it?

Great news - Thanks all

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It is good to hear this news. Thanks IDS, Naveen, SB and all Praja folks for the effort you have put in and also to CISTUP. Sorry, I just remained a spectator.

Step forward for the Commuter Rail

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As IDS / Sathya has covered most of the points of the meeting with CS.

Cheif Secretary has taken up the issue and called meeting, where IDD, UDD, SWR, BMRCL, BMRDA  kRIDE,  iDECK, CiSTUP, Praja memebrs  all attended the meeting. 

Things are moving thanks to Praja, CiSTUP, IDD & UDD.. What we saw in the meeting was SWR DRM was very positive on Commuter Rail and mentioned SPV is the way to go. Once SPV comes into  existance, then fare fixing freedom will be with SPV. 

Also issue on Land handing over of NGEF & Binny Mill Land came up in the meeting.  Due to court stay, things are moving very slowly on this front,  but this is very much reqd for Commuter Rail to take off in full form.

Now as CS has promised to take up the issue with Railway Board Members & Planning Commission with Cabinet Secr at Delhi.  I feel he has or would have worked himself in  the background on political link.  Hope the Cheif Minister & Railway Minister makes the things to move fast.  

Once Chief Secr. meets the Railway Board,   will Railway allow IDD or themselves  will make DPR will be known.

Meeting with KH Muniyappa

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 Myself & Ritesh met with KH Muniyappa today. We spent a few minutes telling him about commuter rail for Bengaluru and why he should be taking it up with the Railway Board for implementation. He asked an officer on special duty to summarize the issue for him and help him sync up with the DRM. He promised to meet us again after a week once he gets an understanding of the issue and has synced up with the DRM. We spent a few minutes with the officer on special duty explaining the proposal and left with our contact numbers exchanged.

We are going to follow-up to see how he will go forward with this.

Karnataka keen on commuter rail system for Bangalore

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Source The Hindu: The Karnataka government has commenced discussions with the Ministry of Railways for implementing a commuter rail system to link the metro and the monorail with urban towns situated up to a distance of 50 km from Bangalore. 

Sources in the State government told The Hindu that Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath, along with Principal Secretary, Infrastructure Development and Revenue, V. Madhu will make a detailed presentation on the project to top officials of the Railway Ministry, including the chairman of the Railway Board, and the Planning Commission shortly.

Read more (Hindu Article)

<note from mod: kindly do not paste entire articles>

No acknowledgement?

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Nice to hear all this news.  Congratulations to all involved for really driving this forward.  It would have been even more wonderful to see a small acknowledgement of PRAJA in the Hindu article. 

Not at all surprised !

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Not at all surprised by the ommission of PRAJA in the article. This has been the case all along on many efforts and ideas that had germinated and bolssomed on Praja. Govt agencies, Institutes and even the private orgs have borrowed the ideas without even acknowledging in remotests references.

I am OK,as along as the ultimate objective of having a CR in B'lore becomes a reality in coming months.


 Citizenmatters writeup on

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 Citizenmatters writeup on the same is here:

GoK pushing SW Railway for local trains within Bengaluru

However, the south-western railways continue to maintain that their hands are full with catering to long-distance trains. Meanwhile, citizen group and CiSTUP prepare draft plan for commuter rail services in Bengaluru.

Commuter Rail in IDD meeting on 24th Sept 2010

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Proceedings of the Principal Secretary to Govt., of Karnataka, Infrastructure Development Department  Dated: 24 Sep 2010

Here you can see the commuter rail mentioned in IDD meeting held on 24th regarding HSRL.

Point No 20 says HSRL would carry only a portion of  the visitors, staff and Passangers to the Aiport city and Balance to be handeled by Road and Commuter Rail. State Govt is making efforts to develop Commuter Rail.  It say DPR is pending

 Already Fares have been revised by Rs 50 due cost escalation in point no : 14 page 9.

Conclusion  The Govt is making sincere efforts to put up commuter Rail system too using the Railway corridors available or with new orridors and Hubs, in addition to having decided to construct High Speed Rail, Mono Rail and Metro Rail systems.



Update: Meeting with KH Muniyappa

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 I spoke to Mr Ramesh Babu, Officer on Special Duty with the MoS for Railways. He wanted clarifications on a few things before he can give a summary to the minister. 

He pointed out that 
1. Electrification is still not complete on all tracks within the city
2. Most routes do not have double tracks
3. ROBs and RUBs are still not in place and a lot of the level crossings are manually operated
4. Automatic signalling is still not is place.

We will need to explain to him that the Railways and GoK will have to make investments to get these things in place. Last time we met him we couldnt tell him about the SPV model and other finner details. 

Sanjeev (already spoke to you), Satya (will call you in the evening) and I will go and explain this to him tomorrow.

Ritesh, Thanks!

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Thanks for the update. Interestingly, OSD to the minister needs some insight into state of railways in Karnataka. Definitely, IDD should give him a copy of their report.


Chief Secy has met Railway Board

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Came to know that Chief Secretary has spoken to the Railway Board. Yet to know anything more than just that. We should call/email around and ask after these meetings and progress later this month.

Whats in a name?

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Oblique reference to Commuter Rail as a possible solution.

"Bangalore has a bright future, but you need to give people the option to commute into, rather than forcing them out of the city," he said. Sitharam believes that the plan needs to be rethought to address these issues.  

"Neither is widening of roads a solution, nor cutting down trees. We need to keep looking for alternate modes of transport, be it rail-based or road-based even after Metro comes in," he added.


Need to restart efforts in reaching out to DRM, MoR & others. Any rail enthusiast volunteers to help?

Reaching other Central Minister on the issue

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Planning for meeting with S M Krishana thru' person Mr Suresh Naidu who is Member of SWR user committee member ( nominated by Mr Krishan himslef ). Forwarded  our call to action report, he is impressed with that.  He has promised to organise meeting with Krishana, he stays at Sanjaya Nagar only.

Their is one more person nominated by K H Muniyyappa,  thru' him also we are trying to reach  MoR.  Hope to have meeting  soon with Kishana during his is presence in Bangalore. 

Also trying to reach Veerappa Moily to have meeting at his residence in RT Nagar but not sure at the moment.



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 I suggest along with meeting Shri Krishna, Shri Moily - which will definately help, we approach the SWR Hq at Hubli and pass on to them our proposal. They will include it in their proposal to Railway Board if they are convinced. Only then the intervention of VVIP helps!!!

State government Proposal for Circular Rail

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The newspaper report  talks about the Circular Train service but not the commuter rail.

"The State Government has proposed a circular train route covering 241 kilometres around Bangalore for easy access between the periphery and the City limits."

We need to get the details of the proposal to see the details.

 The newspaper report  talks

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 The newspaper report  talks about the Circular Train service but not the commuter rail

It is the same commuter rail, but KHM is using an earlier terminology which the news paper has picked up. I just wish they all quickly get to the DPR. Even the TOR is ready and waiting. 

circular rail

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Circular rail is essential for complete CRS. Hope it is built quickly.

Planning to Meet with DRM / SWR & With Minister Ashok

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