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Hubli-Bangalore-Mysore, Full Speed Ahead!!

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Metro Rail

It is the season of big plans, UP has announced a staggering 1000kms of 8 lanes expressway running the entire length of the state from east to west. Not to be outdone, inspired by a CII proposal for a Mumbai-Bangalore-Chennai high speed freight corridor, the KA state government has tossed in the idea for a high speed passenger corridor in KA, that'll do Bangalore-Hubli in 2 hours, Bangalore-Mysore in 40 minutes. This, apparently, is the "Just In Time" concept to de-congest Bangalore.

This will perhaps give fillip to Hubli and Mysore, by increasing connectivity, so that they can develop as economic centers and act as meaningful alternatives to Bangalore. But consider the soup all existing connectivity projects involving these cities are in: BMIC is mired in land and lake issues, NH-4 Dharwad-Sira is perhaps the only unfinished Golden Quadilateral stretch in the Deccan Plateau, Bangalore-Mysore track doubling is progressing too slow and too crudely and Chennamma pulls up at the far-end of SBC much to the chagrin of its patrons.

Given the attitude of the state government towards the list of projects that can improve connectivity between these cities, is the state getting distracted with glitz? With airports in Hubli and Mysore shaping up, is this project really needed? After all, high speed train tickets are not going to come any cheaper than air line tickets. In any case, whether Hubli & Mysore share the load of growth with Bangalore or act as suburbs of Bangalore, traffic congestion in Bangalore is a now and real problem.

According to KA officials quoted in the TOI article, "Acquisition of land should not be a problem as columns can be put on existing tracks". If land acquisition is the major bottleneck for metro and if columns can be layed over existing tracks, can Bangalore take this idea and petition SWR for permission to setup columns for metro around existing tracks? Could this take the urgently needed mass transit in Bangalore from a piddly 33 kms to a meaningful 100kms?


Vasanth's picture

Forget 40 Minutes to Mysore - Take 1 more hour - Take 1hr45 Mins

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I don't know who gives these wonderful ideas and why such wonderful ideas are reported in the news papers. These hi-fi projects may not even complete during our grand children's time. Existing trains if managed properly is capable of 1 hr 45 mins - 2 hours. Trains are not run to incorporate this timing itself. None of the trains are run for officer goers to make Mysore parallel city to Bangalore - All the trains are run for railways convenience. There are no non stop trains in the morning from Mysore to Bangalore. If a train can cover the distance in 2hrs during morning time, nowitself lot of people (especially natives of Mysore working in Bangalore) will travel from Mysore. Similarly, on the Tumkur side, trains can cover the distance in 1 hr. But, there is no non stop train from Tumkur to Bangalore to make Tumkur parallel city to Bangalore. Instead, non-stop trains are run at Railway's convenience. Best utilize the existing infrastructure, then think of the new ones. If a person really wants to go to Mysore/Hubli in 40 mins, let him take a flight - All over the state small airports are planned - This should serve the purpose for him.
Arun's picture

Really doubt all these

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Really doubt all these Rly-centric development as this robs the PWD/Urban Infra / Industry ministries all the opportunities to 'spend' thousands of crores on roads. Not sure again, if this de-congests Bangalore. Infact this can bring in more people on a daily basis into Blr. If the Govt really wants to de-congest, Mys, Hassan, Ramanagara, Tumkur should not be the new centres, but Mlr, H-D, Belgaum, other prominent cities/towns that are atleast an overnight journey away.
silkboard's picture

This glitz is a distraction

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As you said there Tarle - all this glitz is distraction. Think of this first. What if they made 45 minute Bangalore-Mysore journey possible tomorrow? You get off (SBC) Bangalore City station and then what? An hour more to get to any corner of the city? But, I disagree with Vasanth on one thing above. "If a person really wants to go to Mysore/Hubli in 40 mins, let him take a flight". Trains would be more energy efficient, environment friendly, can haul a lot more people, and would be cheaper over longer term. Also, look at fast trains as the better 'spreading-the-growth' model than car centric freeway model of the US that BMIC promises to bring. Another point, just as Tarle said is, why is Railways (SWR) not looking at making the best use of the resources they have? Arun, Tarle and I have screamed before - why don't they notice that they can connect E-city, Whitefield, Byappanahalli, Yeshwantpur today if they get serious about spending some money on it. Glam sham and glitz is fine, may be we need some of that to thump our chests. But please, make the best use of whatever you have on hand right now.
Vasanth's picture

What I meant

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Hi TS, why I made the comment to take flight is, see for example, currently for Mysore, 2 hour travel in train is possible. But, there is only Shatabdi Express which covers the distance in 2 hours which is not affordable to a common man. It costs whooping 325 rupees. There are not even 50 passengers who travel in this train. Normal train takes a minimum 2.5 hours and there are no trains which run for daily travellers which covers the distance in 2.5 hours. If U take comment from any of the daily passenger, they say "Let them make 2 hours - forget 40 minutes". Samething will happen if a Bullet train is started. It may cost 800 rupees from Mysore to Bangalore. No common man can travel. Forget Bullet train, now Volvo between Bangalore and Mysore itself is becoming unreachable day by day. I know that train is more energy efficient and for daily travel, train is more suitable than plane with huge carrying capacity. But, these trains if at all started will be used only by very few people. Just for them investing so much is a mere national waste and this will disrupt the normal train traffic if built over the existing tracks. Since all over Karnataka, small airports are being built , whoever who wants to travel in such a hurry, let them take a flight. There is no Government investment other than Airport. Government should think practically and figure out which towns to be made parallel to Bangalore. It should be in a radius of within 150 kms. Candidates will be Mysore,Tumkur, Kolar, Mandya and Ramanagaram,Channapatna (if developed in the right direction). At the most Hassan. Having Hubli as parallel city to Bangalore is totally impractical - It is like having Boston as parallel city to New York in USA - Even in the US it has not been incorporated. Mantra should be run trains at the best possible timing between Bangalore to Mysore/Tumkur/Kolar/Mandya and have good mass intracity transport in Bangalore using Metro and good City Bus Service. Also develop IT Parks / Industrial parks between Bangalore and these cities. Government of Karnataka built Electronic City between Bangalore and Hosur and Hosur got the benefits although not part of Karnataka.
s_yajaman's picture

A load of rubbish. TOI

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A load of rubbish. TOI reporters as usual lapping up the crap that these people dish out. The very same railways say that they don't have the money to build a 30km line to devanahalli. Where is the money going to come from? These things cost Rs100-150crores a km. I also disagree with the idea that these cities will serve as the places where people live and then commute to bangalore. Development should go there so that travel/migration is minimized. The whole concept as laid out is a muddle. What is the objective? Is it to improve these places or to make them suburbs of bangalore? where did they get this hare brained idea from? Sorry but this does not seem like a bright idea at all. Srivathsa

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