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Suburban rail connect from Yeshwantpur to airport set to get RITES of passage


BENGALURU: A rail link to the airport may soon see light of the day. The suburban rail project to connect Yeshwantpur Railway Station with Kempegowda International Airport is on track, with the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) set to submit its feasibility report to the state government soon.

Confirming this, Additional Chief Secretary Mahendra Jain told Express that Yeshwantpur will have an elevated platform to decongest the station for the running of trains. “The existing facility will be modified to run the trains. RITES has also identified a place close to KIA compound for the station,” he said.
Jain added that Yeshwantpur is one among the few stretches identified by the government to introduce suburban rails. “We initially wanted the link from City railway station to Airport. But since the station is very congested, we proposed Yeshwantpur or Yelahanka.

Experts say there is no scope for additional space for platform or line at Yeshwantpur. So, we are looking at the possibility of an elevated platform. Also, we want double, electrified lines to Doddaballapur from here. At present, it is only a single line,’’ Jain said.

Jain said their priority is Yeshwantpur station because it has Metro connectivity. “People commuting in Metro can board suburban trains to KIA from the adjacent Yeshwantpur railway station,’’ he said. When asked about the status, he said it is on track. “We are hoping to take it forward at the earliest,’’ he said.
The funding of the project will be as per the new suburban railway policy, where State and the Central government will share the cost, along with other financial aids. Devanahalli taluk has more than two railway stations, but none of the passenger trains, as of now, stop here. Experts say that Yerthiganahalli station (6kms from KIA) and Trumpet station (3kms from KIA) can be ideal stoppage for the suburban line, for now. The rail connection is expected to lessen the traffic on Ballari Road.

The suburban rail project to connect Yeshwantpur Railway Station with Kempegowda International Airport is on track, with the Rail India Technical and Economic Service set to submit its feasibility report to the state government soon.Prakash Mandoth, member of the zonal railway users’ consultative committee, said, “Ideally, rail connectivity to airport should be from the City central railway station. In 2016, RITES authorities had visited Bengaluru and conducted preliminary inspection. They had met the authorities from South Western Railway and KIA. In fact, they had even identified the land, adjacent to KIA, for the station.”

“We will need inter-model connectivity to airport. Metro will take at least another four years to connect Airport from the city. But with the existing facility, suburban rail connectivity can be made possible within eight to nine months,” he said.He added that not just air-travellers, suburban rail can benefit others, especially the employees working with various airways. “Suburban train can be of a great help to their commuting. Also, air-cargo service can be managed effectively using suburban trains,’’ Mandoth said.

Traffic Expert Prof M N Sreehari said Yerthiganahalli can be an ideal station. “Trains can take the Yeshwantpur – Hebbal – GKVK – Shettigere – Yerthiganahalli route. From there, free bus facility can be arranged to the Airport,” he said.The project, experts said, can be completed within eight to nine months as in most places the existing infrastructure – including tracks – will be used. The Government, however, has not set any time frame for the completion of the project.

Source: The New Indian Express | Published: 21st November 2017 03:56