Bengaluru Suburban Rail - Just a Few Miles more to start,says Citizen Matters
"...Reaching Tumkur, Ramanagar and other peripheral cities will be easy in future, when the Commuter Rail system becomes a reality. The project is expected to disperse the traffic inside the city as well as connect Bangalore with suburbs..."
This is how CITIZEN MATTERS describes the recent development in government approvals to much awaited commuter rail service in Bengaluru. The article titled "Commuter Raul: Just few miles more to start" is an apt assessment of all these developments in apst 2 weeks from GOK's in principal approval to CRS as recommended by the RITES on July 5th and announcement of formation of SPV "Bangalore Suburban Rail Corporation" in the 2013-14 budget on July 12.
DULT's approach doesn't make sense
Source - Citizen Matters
"...CRS will move ahead under Bangalore Suburban Rail Corporation Limited once the government gives a final nod to the DPR. Accordingly stakeholders will be invited, confirmed sources from DULT.
DULT is looking forward to make CRS more city-centric. They have suggested to formulate DPR with four corridors as against the seven corridors suggested by RITES. Along with the extension of new tracks, old tracks will also be put to use across the city.
On one hand DULT will push forward the services and on the other hand upgradation will be done. Existing corridors will reduce the investment. But at the end approval will be required from the Central Government.
DULT is waiting for the DPR as it will allow assessment of the facilities identified in the feasibility study - the possibility, and the efficiency...
This approach of DULT baffles me. Prudent would have been to start of Phase-1A works immediately along with formation of SPV as both are mutually exclusive. The 2012 RITES report is a good enough DPR for Phase-1A. Instead of DPR, it would have been prudent to kickstart the physical sureys of all the corridors to faciltate drafting a formal propsoal to GOI, Indian Railways and Planning commission. The recomemndations of Phase-1A are very striaght forward and do not include any railway construction as such.
"...Prakash Mandoth counters this argument, saying that alignment required for CRS is in place already. They just need to put up few extra lines. According to his expertise, the Phase 1 A requires no waiting. The facilities required for Phase 1A like the tracks or platforms are already laid. All that is needed is to build a station line, increase the services on those lines and 1 or 1.5 km approach road for the passengers to reach the station and other basic amenities. Similar suggestions are shared by many people on the Praja website. .."
Mr. Prakash is absolutely right and DULT's approach is beyond one's imagination. I can only see project getting delayed further. With general elections fast approaching, we are loosing the right opportunity.
A loss-making service? An attemtp to derail the project?
"...Finance Administration and Chief Accounts Officer of South Western Railway (HQ), J. Vishwanathan says: “Nowhere in the country CRS is making profit. If we plan to take CRS in Bangalore we will go into losses further.” Commuter Rail Service is a hit among the commuters but it is a loss-making service, he indicates..."
Our friend Muralidhar Rao puts it in right perspective,
"...Acknowledging the Indian Railways point of view, Muralidhar says that, it is true that nowhere in the world CRS is making profit, but the government needs to look at the social need. Neither Metro nor CRS is profit making. Metro is costing Rs. 350 crore per kilometer, while CRS cost Rs. 20 crore.."
"...If the government overlooks the loss that will be incurred in Metro, then why is it looking with a profit motive perspective at CRS? asks Muralidhar. Metro can highly congest the city. Construction of metro will allow high rise buildings along the Metro track, thus increasing the problems related to traffic, air and water. A city like Bangalore needs CRS to spread the growth to distant areas, he argues..."
Prajagale, you be the judge.