The Rs 15,990-crore suburban rail project for Bangalore City has been approved by Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and has been sent to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her consent.
Railway sources said that the file was sent to the Finance Minister’s office on January 10. “The Railway Minister cleared it a fortnight ago and it has now reached Nirmala Sitharaman’s office. As soon as the Finance Minister okays it, it will be sent to the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs headed by the Prime Minister for the final clearance,” an official said.
Asked to specify a time frame, an official said all clearances could be in place by January-end.
Meanwhile, rail activist groups in the city, which have been demanding the project for over a decade now, met Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar on January 14. KT Krishna Prasad of Karnataka Rail Vedike, Rajkumar of Citizens for Citizens and Sanjeev Dyamannavar of Praja Raag were among those who wrote to him listing their demands. “We asked him to ensure speedy clearance of the suburban project,” said Dyamannavar.
The letter called for upgrading existing rail infrastructure and eliminating all railway level crossings. Electrification of the 30-km Yelahanka-Devanahalli stretch at a cost of Rs 40 crore and automatic signalling works across the City for Rs 250 crore were among other urgent requirements, it said.