Suburban Rail - Notes from Meeting with Railway Minister, Aug 10, 2013

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Commuter Rail

Posting on Behalf of Mr. Sudrashan Mantri, President, Professional Cell-KPCC

(Posted on Facebook)

"...As you know, Commuter Rail System (CRS) for Bangalore was incorporated in the party’s elections manifesto on account of the efforts of KPCC Professionals Cell. Subsequently, the state govt. approved a budget of Rs 200 Crores for the project, primarily to construct ROBs/RUBs.

Earlier today, we met Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, the Hon’ble Union Minister of Railways at Rail House, Bangalore, along with Prof Rajeev Gowda and our friends from Prajaa RAAG. Senior brass of South Western Railways was also preset at the meeting.

During the interaction, we highlighted the various merits of the projects and explained how it could ease the congestion on the city roads and would also be instrumental in development of adjoining urban and rural areas. Although the Hon’ble Minister is certainly in favor of the project, he expressed to his concerns regarding certain challenges that are hindering the progress. As per the normal course, the CRS operations have to be taken up by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to be set up by the state Govt. A Detailed Project Report (DPR), outlining the engineering, operational and financial aspects of the project is also required for the SPV to commence the operations. However, since it will take a while for such steps to be taken, and also in light of the upcoming general elections, we requested the Hon’ble Minster to consider instructing SWR to start the project on a pilot basis in the meanwhile, even if it means that only 6 rakes are acquired for this purpose.

The Hon’ble Minister is likely to consider this request from us, provided the state Govt is in a position to start the process formally. So, the task is cut out for us now i.e. we need to pursue this matter with the state govt, under the guidance of the party leadership..."



@ Sudrashan, Thank you!

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Dear Sudarshan,

Thank you for organizing this meet. Also for the meeting update. The mission now should be to get the GOK's ears and heart.



Mr Kharge looks like a man

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Mr Kharge looks like a man with a mission.

It feels good to see that our railway minister is in favor of suburban rain for bangalore.

We have to really push the GOK for initiating the process at the earliest. Can we start requesting the CM for this by sending him series of mails as we did it to the previous govt ? or anyother mean to pursue the govt to start the process right away.



a big milestone for Namma Railu / Suburban rail advocacy

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Thanks to KPCC / Prof Rajeev Gowda and anyone else who helped organize this meeting, a real milestone for everyone's advocacy efforts towards Namma Railu aka Suburban Rail.

From what we hear from DULT side, the DPR work is already underway, but would take 2-3 months to complete. We an assume that a formal proposal from state government (if that is what will seal the deal) would be going out with this DPR and perhaps proposals on the SPV structure, which also I beleive is either being worked on by DULT or could be a part of scope for the DPR.

Finally feel people who are suppose to do are letting down

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As citizens,  we can do the advocacy and follow up like meeting Railway Minister  Thanks to Sudharshan Mantri and Prof Rajeev Gowda for their efforts.  Thanks to other joining from Praja : Muralidhar Rao, Srinidhi, Naveen and Hemanth.

We waited from 11am to 1PM for minister  to arrive and had dicussion as mentioned above for nearly an Hr  and Railway Minister & Railway officials  stand was give Binny Mill Land which is pending for a decade with GOK.  If this thing can't be done then do not expect Commuter Rail.

Till today we do not have requesting by GOK to Railway Minister  or Railway Board for Commuter Rail / Suburban Rail.  Why are the officers of GOK keep claiming that they have written letters to Railway : Do they mean letters to DRM / Bangalore and GM Hubli.  But for all other Railway Projects including METRO,  Chief Sec and CM do the campaigning in Delhi  but for Commuter Rail / Suburban Rail,  either Railway Minister or Railway Board is not reachable since 2009 for the GOK officals and even for CM. 

More pathetic is from the  MP of the Bangalore, MLA's  and except Tumkur MP.

So  till today DPR work is not yet started  and GOK yet to give work order on RITES with 2 or 4 monthe period for the work Ph1A only and not complet DPR for Commuter Rail !!!!

As per the past records, this DPR of only Ph1A will get materialized with truncated form without Binny Mill Land by April'2014 and that to Railway Board is not  to be involved.  Its hard to digest but it bitter thing.

So past we had reason not proceed on DPR :

1.  Railway Board has not allowed to do  : As on today has Railway Board allowed GOK to do the DPR ???  where is the proof ...

2.  Waiting for Wilburtsmith Report by IDD in 2010 :  Where is the report avilable till today in public,  why Public need to file RTI for this.

3.  RITES  report was suppose to be quick DPR as per Jun'2011 but ended up as feasibility report and took  24 months to close.

4.  Since Feb'2013,  no meeting held with SWR by GOK on Commuter Rail as per the SWR written statement and no communication to SWR till today.

5. Railway Minister revived the projects of GOK with CS & other Railway Board Members during last month,  but Commuter Rail  for Bangalore was not at all dicussed

6. After announcing in State Budget of setting of SPV Bangalore Suburna Rail Corporation,  till today their is no offical approval available and GOK is not going to communicate officaly to Railway Board  and Railway Minister.  Message or news to flow via News Media as Railway Minister or Railway Board Members are just like any general  public.

My feelings is GOK is not  going to do this project Bangalore Suburban Rail.

This project will be in dicussion with all Managment terminology for  years and  its now Politicians, GOK officials and Railway have made their mind not to do this project.  This project has lost common sense to apply.

We can keep hearing some news once in six months on this  thinking this will come. 



binny mill land bogey

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Thanks to Rajeev Gowda and Sudarshan Mantri for organizing this meeting. Clearly they have shown far more maturity & intelligence than any elected representative in Karnataka. I think the railway minister is right. Let the sleeping GoK wake up & get its act in together. The ball is clearly in the GoK court. Lets see how it goes. There is an intention from GoK which needs to translate to concrete action. 

I personally dont think Binny mill land is required to kickstart the commuter rail, there are already many services to & from tumkur, bangarpet & hosur running without this land which can be enhanced & rolled into commuter rail services. All it needs to run more services as per the alignment suggested by the Praja original call to action report.

I dont see why trains from tumkur to hosur or bangarpet to dodballapur or hosur to chickballapur needs binny mill land. Those trains dont even come close to the city railway station.

Its time for IT folks from ITPL, ORRCA & EC come together & ask for additional YH1 type services along bangarpet & hosur tracks from Tumkur/Nelamangala & Chickballapur. Its also time for the honchos from IT companies who want an airport in their backyard to push for an airport train along these tracks from Hosur to BIA. 

From C11 of RITES rpt... thanks syed

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"...As already brought out, if GoK approaches GOI with a simple proposal without details like preliminary survey report, preliminary estimates etc., GOI refers the projects to S W Railway for preliminary physical survey. Based on the physical survey report and based on the commitment of finances from GoK, Railways sanction the projects. This phase itself takes lot of time. Till such time, it is recommended to carry out preliminary survey of the projects which GoK intends to finance 100%. However, while undertaking preliminary survey, S W Railway should be taken into confidence and Ministry of Railways also should be kept formally informed. Once projects are sanctioned by IR, it does all detailed physical surveys (required to run EMUs) and also executes the works for implementing the CRS as brought out in above paragraph. RITES has got expertise and all wherewithal to undertake the above cited physical surveys...”
Proposal to GoI
An SPV coming into existence and start delivering services to the public is a long drawn process. Therefore, it is recommended that:

  • Finance phase 1 activities fully i.e. 100%.
  • Make out a proposal to Ministry of Railways duly bringing out the total scope of the projects (covering all the 3 phases suggested) and its readiness to finance 100%.
  • The proposal can also contain a request to form BCRC in the lines of MRVC to implement phases 2 and 3 and take the mission further.
  • The proposal need to be self-contained along with abstract estimates, techno economic survey reports etc.

GoK can also clearly indicate that:Certain number of additional services to be run on CRS network. (as assessed already in Para 5.8)

  • Additional halts are to be constructed to serve commuters.
  • Fare to be charged is to be: “Sub-urban” category at par with Mumbai rather than “Non Sub-urban Category” as in case of Hyderabad MMTS to get maximum surcharge revenue.
  • Surcharge to be levied on basic fare (50% to 100% rounding off to next higher rupee) and to be transferred to GoK.
  • Surcharge to be reviewed from time to time.
  • Against this investment, GoK should not expect any further returns like share of revenues, say in fare policy, say in day to day O & M, ownership of newly created assets etc. Ownership of the newly created assets (though 100% financed by GoK) shall remain with Indian Railways.

 This model is suggested just to get immediate consideration of the proposal by Ministry of Railways and get immediate relief to Bangalore commuter woes. Moreover, the investments required for CRS implementation (even all 3 phases put together) are virtually insignificant compared to the GoK‟s investments in Metro Rail, Mono Rail, High Speed Rail to BAIL, BMTC etc. But the benefits are just immense as brought out in Chapter 9.

Once such a proposal goes to MoR, it is likely to sanction the projects (100% financed by GoK) within 3 to 6 months‟ time. BCRC also may come into existence in about 2 years‟ time.

External Influences!

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Agree with Sanjeev, the said DPR is for Phase-1A and not sure how it can scope for proposal for full project details and SPV formation? Will watch out for DULT's leadership on this?

Going by the timelines, clearly it is becoming apparent that external influences are weighing more on GOK and its Babus to go slow on NR. As Sanjeev noted in his comment, GOK and its Babus are taking personal interests in projects like METRO and relegating Namma Railu on back burner.

Former BMRCL chief is right, if there is a will there will be trains, if not only reports.

If the previous state regime acted as 'Souti' to Namma Railu, the present regime could be making it into an 'ORPHAN'.


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So just thinking on why is GoK or our bureaucrats are not pitching on CRS, its probably just because our minds are not conditioned to imagine anything outside the road infra in this state!

On that line we have a job still cut out folks..spread the word and the concept more..again!

Happy to see better results

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Happy to see better results for Praja's efforts and support from higher political levels.  We should request utilization of Bypanahalli. There is adequate space in Bypanhalli. Where there is space, there is no plan.  If there was need for land in Majestic, it should have been made like 50 years ago. Their mistake is made an excuse now. There is no clear reason given for not starting trains from Bypanahalli. It is difficult to start more trains from Majestic.  Also Tumkur station can be expanded.  Bypanahalli to MG road Metro is running every 10 minutes even when there is not even extra tracks at MG road.  Same way,  Bangalore central can be a passthrough station.  Even Namma Metro and Other subaurban services like Chennai has bigger stations where trains are parked outside the city. comment guidelines

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