Railways, Karnataka to build suburban service system for Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Jan 16 (IANS) The Railway Ministry and the Karnataka government on Monday signed an agreement to jointly fund a suburban train service system across the city for thousands of commuters harried by gridlocks on choked roads.

Though the partners are yet to decide on the terms of funding and their share, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said a special company would be set up for the 60km suburban service and funded through innovative means.

“It is the duty of the central and state governments to meet the public transport needs of an ever-growing city, which is the country’s technology capital,” he said.

As the Railway Ministry and the state government were not in a position to meet the project cost due to resource or budgetary constraints, Prabhu said required funds would have to be raised by involving private partners.

Expressing reservation over the central government’s draft on financing the suburban train service infrastructure, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said 20 per cent funding by the central government would be a burden on the state government in meeting the remaining 80 per cent of the project cost.

“The project cost, including the land cost should be shared by the central and state governments on 50:50 per cent basis and not on 20:80 per cent,” he told Prabhu at a public function here.

A foundation stone was also laid on the occasion for building a new coaching terminal at the Baiyyappanahalli station in the city’s eastern suburb to decongest the main station and the Cantonment station in the city centre and Yeshvantpur station in the northwest suburb.