In a development that may bring cheer to those weary of the Bengaluru traffic, the Extended Railway Board has cleared a 148-km suburban railway project for the city.
Union Minister of State of Railways Suresh Angadi announced this in a tweet on Monday. "In order to fast-track the #BengaluruSuburbanRail, the Extended Railway Board met today and has given its clearance. In this regard, I assure the people of Bengaluru that Shri @PiyushGoyal Ji and I shall make all efforts to ensure that the project is brought to fruition at the earliest," the politician, who belongs to Karnataka, said.
The suburban rail project - estimated at Rs 16,000 crore - will have four corridors connecting places ranging from Devanahalli, located near the international airport, to Whitefield, a part of the city that has struggled with rapid growth and poor connectivity.
PC Mohan, the BJP MP from Bengaluru Central, expressed his appreciation on social media. "Great news for Bengaluru: The Extended Railway Board met today and has given clearance #Bengaluru #SubUrbanRail project. I'm extremely grateful to Railway Minister @PiyushGoyal and @SureshAngadi for making Bengaluru's dream a reality!" he tweeted.
"Tomorrow, along with other MPs, I will join Shri Angadi & Rly Board officials to meet Chief Minister @BSYBJP & finalise dream project for BLR," he added, crediting Mr Goyal and Mr Angadi for their efforts at making the suburban railway project a "reality".
The Karnataka capital, often referred to as India's Silicon City, is notorious for its traffic. Even travelling short distances takes a disproportionately long time, and vehicular speed in congested areas during peak hours can drop as low as four kilometres per hour.
The second phase of the city's Namma Metro is well behind schedule, and many citizen groups have spoken of the need for a suburban railway to ease travel around the city.