Bengaluru’s suburban rail gets ₹300 crore central budgetary allocation
The 148.17-km suburban rail network for Bengaluru received a budgetary allocation of ₹300 crore from the Centre towards its implementation.
Chief PRO of South Western Railways (SWR) E. Vijaya told reporters in Hubballi on Thursday that the funding has been mentioned in the Northern Railway section of the pink book, which gives details of the budgetary grants. An equivalent amount of ₹300 crore, for the joint venture between the Ministry of Railways and the State, was also expected from the Karnataka government, she said.
According to a senior official of the Rail Infrastructure Development Company Karnataka Limited (K -RIDE), the agency implementing suburban rail project, the allocation has been made under equity infusion into State joint ventures. “A total of ₹800 crore has been made available. A majority of the funds will go to the suburban project in the city and the Haryana orbital rail project. There are other projects too . We expect around ₹300 crore from the Central government and same amount of allocation from the State government,” the official said.
He added that the total of ₹600 crore will give an impetus to the project in the first year of implementation. “In a month, we will float tenders for civil works. We have finalised consultancy tenders on design, land acquisition, station planning, geo-technical survey and investigation and utility mapping. Negotiations are on with international agencies to fund the project.”
Activists, too, hailed the budgetary support. “An equal contribution from the State government will give a big push for the project that has been pending for years. All that we need is more conviction in implementing the project for the benefit of general public,” said rail activist Sanjeev Dyamannavar.
As per the plan, in the first phase, K-RIDE will take up two corridors for construction, Baiyappanahalli to Banaswadi (corridor 2) and Heelalige to Rajankunte (corridor 4).
Increase in total grants
The total grants to South Western Railway in the 2021-22 budget has increased by ₹536 crores, which is 20% more compared to the grants allocated in the previous budget(2020-21), said SWR Chief PRO E. Vijaya.
SWR received ₹3,244 crore grants, the highest so far for the railway zone. Together with ₹1,233 crore expected as deposit from the Government of Karnataka towards new lines, road over bridges, and road under bridges, the budgetary allocation would be ₹4,467 crores, she said.