Suburban rail proposes a seamless commute
K-RIDE plans to integrate suburban rail stations with metro, rail and bus stops at 10 locations
If all goes as planned, suburban rail commuters will be able to use Namma Metro and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses with ease. The Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Ltd. (K-RIDE) wants to integrate the proposed suburban rail stations with metro and existing railway stations as well as BMTC bus stops at 10 locations on the four planned corridors.
“Discussions are on with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. and other authorities,” said a senior K-Ride official. The four corridors are KSR Bengaluru City to Devanahalli, Byappanahalli to Chikkabanavara, Kengeri to Whitefield, and Heelalige to Rajanakunte.
The final feasibility report on the suburban rail project also talks about integrating metro stations at KSR Bengaluru, Cantonment (yet to come up), Kengeri, and others. For example, at KSR Bengaluru, K–RIDE proposes to build an elevated station with two side platforms and one island platform. It will be an interchange station as two suburban rail corridors — Bangalore City to Rajanakunte and Kengeri to Whitefield — intersect there. The report also talks about connecting the existing metro station and KSR Bengaluru City railway station.
The 148.17-km suburban rail network project continues to face many challenges, the most recent one being the second wave of COVID-19. Even preliminary work has taken a hit. K-RIDE had prioritised construction of Byappanahalli Terminal – Chikkabanavara and Heelalige – Rajanakunte corridors.
“Much of the preliminary work on these two corridors has been affected because of the second wave of COVID-19. Work on the doubling of Byappanahalli – Hosur line was also impacted due to issues with transportation of material and shortage of workers,” said the official.
Despite these hurdles, K-RIDE claims that all the four corridors will be completed within six years. Once operational, 9.84 lakh people will be able to use suburban train services every day, and officials estimate ridership will increase to 13.41 lakh by 2030.
K-RIDE has issued tenders for selecting a consultant for a detailed design and drawings for viaduct, stations, depot, track and signalling, etc. Two more tenders have also been floated for assessment of market value for land identified and structure to be acquired for the project and shifting utilities.
Extension of network
The final feasibility report on the project states that depending on the patronage, the corridors may be extended to cities in the neighbouring districts