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Welcoming 2014 with 2013 Accomplishments!

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Commuter Rail

On behalf of Praja-RAAG (Research, Analysis and Advocacy Group), I wish you all a "Happy, Prosperous and Productive 2104".

Like previous years 2013 was also an eventful year with many accomplishments achieved by the ordinary souls and minds of Praja members and their friends. Let us welcome 2014 with the achievements of 2013.

Achievements of 2013

CYCLE DAY

The biggest achievement of 2013 is the seeding of monthly "Cycle Day" ritual in Bengaluru. Last Sunday was the 3rd edition of the Cycle day and it truly went places - To Jaynagar. This time it was held at Jaynagar with public for few hours capturing their space for activities that are FUN, ENTERTAINING, ENJOYMENT and most importantly something we all love doing it. Cycling, Walking, Gully Cricket, Lugory, Hop-Cotch etc. I am sure this must have brought the childhood memories.

Photo Courtesy - Citizens Matters, DNA

The Event was result of efforts of many activist groups like Praja, BOTS, Kerberon Automation, RACF, and Namma Cycle in coordination with DULT, CiSTUP, BBMP and BTP. For more read here and at Praja.

NAMMA RAILU

Yet another feature in teh cap of Praja-RAAG. After 3 years of relentless advocacy campaign by Praja-RAAG team, finally in March 2013, the outgoing BJP govt gave the "IN-PRINCIPLE" approval to the 'Suburban Rail Service" Project. But due to elections there after, it was kept in abeyance. Later when CONG-I govt took charge, it was again given a new life in July 2014 with announcement in the state budget. Later it was confirmed through a "Government Order" giving an starting road map:

  • DPR for pHase-1A
  • SPV formation - "Bengaluru Suburban Rail Service Corporation"
  • Formation of state empowered committee to implement the project
  • Process to acquire the Binny Mill Land

By Nov, 2014, GOK committed to the cause of Namma Railu by sending a formal proposal to Railways for its nod and acceptance to be part of the stake-holding in BSRSC. Since then a relentless campaign to bring the necessary pressure on both GOK and Railway Minister has been launched. The intensity of this campaign can be gauge from the number of meetings and presentations that were given at at various forums.

  • Team has met Railway Minister Shri. Kharge
  • Team in partnership with Prof. Rajeev Gowda's "Bangalore Needs You" ) BNY organized a workshop for the elected representative at Vidhan Soudha
  • Team has met the state transport and Bangalore district Minister Shri. Ramlinga Reddy and has petitioned him for taking up the matter with GOK and Railway Minister.
  • Team has met the UDD Principal Secretary Mr. Srinivasachary and has tried to bring his attention to urgency of the matter.
  • The team also has met the former Chief Secretary Shri. Ranganath for his esteem help.
  • Few days, our dear friend Shri. Satyandarpal Chopra along with Ex-MP Shri. Sangliana met with Railway Minister Kharge and has requested to do the needful.
  • The team also presented before the Parliamentary Committee and urged for their help in expediting the approval and implementation process.
  • Our dear friend Prof. Rajeev Gowda also recently met with Kharge and put place the matter before him.
  • It is learnt that Union Minorities Minister Shri. Rahman Khan has personally written to Kharge for approving this project. It was based on many petitions sent to him and other MPs, MLAs and Ministers.
  • Last Sunday, the team led by Sanjeev and Hemanth participated in an event at Tumkur and presented the Namma Railu case.

As part of this campaign, a paper on 'Suburban Rail' has been accepted to be presented at "International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure" to be held in Long Beach, California, USA in November 2014. Awaiting for acceptance from Australian University as well.

For more on Namma Railu read here.

These are just few attempts to keep the campaign alive and going. Against our expectations, there seems to be reluctance on part of Railway Minister and GOK to expedite the approval process thereby delaying the whole implementation process.

These were 2 big achievements that we all can take pride and welcome the 2014 with both hands with firm resolve to achieve the higher heights. Still optimistic to see that in 2014 Bengaluru cty will sport the better infrastructure for pedestrian and bicycles. With a bit of help from our friends, Namma Railu should start chugging in 2014. AMEN.

Once again, a "HAPPY, PROSPEROUS and PRODUCTIVE 2014" to all of you and your families.

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