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Ridership of suburban rail will surpass Bengaluru Metro by 2025

As per a pre-feasibility report by Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), around 9 lacs people are going to use the suburban rail by 2025 each day.

People of Bengaluru have been long waiting for the suburban rail across the city and finally the waiting is going to end soon. By 2025, it is expected to have more than double ridership than Bengaluru Metro that means with a total of 17 six-car trains running per hour.

According to the report by RITES, the daily commuting in these routes can reach up to 9,28,432 by 2025. In further years like 2031 and 2041, the daily ridership can even go higher and reach up to around 12,14,283 and 16,83,177 respectively.

A 161km of strong network routes would be formed with stations spaced with an average distance between them of 1.8km. the total cost of the project has been limited to Rs. 19500  crore. The average ridership of Bangalore Metro Transport Corporation (BMTC) has been fixed around 45 lacs, on the other hand Namma Metro currently has 4 lacs commuters along 42km on an average.

The routes that have been proposed by RITES after a drone-based aerial survey are:

  1. a) Kengeri – Bengaluru City – Whitefield — 35 km
  2. b) Bengaluru City – Yelahanka – Rajankunti — 27 km
  3. c) Nelamangala – Mathikere – Baiyyappanahalli—39 km
  4. d) Heelalige – Yelahanka – Devanahalli— 60 km

Among the 81 planned stations, 12 of these will have intermodal connectivity with metro stations and another five stations having interconnectivity among thesuburban rail netwok.

Around 52 stations already have the basic infrastructure for the project with the requirements of building of platforms (in some stations doubling or quadrupling of tracks). Officials told that once the funds are granted the project work can begin in phases and the amenities can be expanded based on public demand by the end of 2020.

The work will start before Lok Sabha elections and also the state government wants to give its inputs and also the state wants minor changes in the project proposed by RITES, according to the sources. Regarding the project, a number of meeting have been held between the Karnataka Chief Secretary and railway officials and the issues have been resolved between the state and railways.

Activists who for long have been crusading for such an addition to the public transport system, finally feel that the special purpose vehicle like the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) will also see the light of day. For immediate allocation and utilization of funds for multiple projects, the establishment of SPV is necessary.

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy indicated that the most awaited project will be paid attention to by the government, after RITES submitted the feasibility report recognizing four full-blown suburban train routes in Bengaluru.

Speaking in Delhi on December 27, following his meeting with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, he said that Chief Secretary Vijay Bhaskar has been given instructions to clear necessary paperwork. He also announced that to lay the foundation stone of the project, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited.

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