Bengaluru suburban rail to get delayed

The wait for the Bengaluru suburban rail network will get longer as the Railway ministry is unhappy with the Karnataka’s government conditional approval to the project, according to people aware of the developments.

The network of four corridors is aimed at decongesting Bengaluru. Rs 17,000 crore were allocated for the project in the 2018-19 Union budget ahead of the Karnataka election. But the project got stuck after the election. In January, the Karnataka government gave approval to the project with 19 conditions.

Railway board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav has now written to the Karnataka chief secretary, TM Vijay Bhaskar, saying the railway minister has agreed to most of the conditions. He and asked the state to withdraw the conditions that were not agreeable.

“I am surprised to learn that state government gave ‘in-principle’ approval to the project subject to as many as 19 conditions on a proposal initiated by the state in the first place. It is discouraging to note that state government has deviated from the original understanding and sought for a much bigger scope of the project and backtracked from its commitment made on various occasions with respect to various aspects of the proposal,” Yadav said in his letter dated February 8. HT has seen the letter. Bhaskar said the state had addressed some of the Centre’s concerns. “We are examining some of the conditions and will take a decision on this soon,” he said. The completion cost for the dedicated Bengaluru Sub Urban Rail Corridor is estimated to be Rs 23,093 crores.

On Karnataka government’s condition over the extension of proposed corridor to suburban/satellites of Bengaluru, the railway board chairman has said that “the description of the corridor should be kept within the study zone and other expansions should be examined separately in future.”

There is also a dispute over the cost of railway land as the Karnataka government has put a condition saying the cost of railway land to be used for the project is to be taken as on nominal lease basis at Re 1 per acre.

First Published: Feb 21, 2019 23:27 IST

Updated: February 22, 2019 — 2:38 am