Doubling of two railway stretches in Bangaluru — Byappanahalli-Hosur (48km) and Yeshwantpur-Channasandra (21km) appears to have got a fresh lease of life, as the railway board has asked K-RIDE to implement the project. The project remained on paper despite the railways in 2018 inviting bids for civil works for doubling of the Byappanahalli-Hosur line.
Sources said the railways and the government have been dilly-dallying over cost sharing. Also, there were differences over whether South Western Railway (SWR) or the Karnataka Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation (K-RIDE – SPV which is responsible for the Bengaluru suburban rail) will execute the project.
K-RIDE officials said they’re planning to finalise the tenders in three months. “The main reason for the delay was the government’s refusal to shoulder 50% of the cost project. The government had earlier insisted for a 20:20 model, where the remaining 60% was to be raised through loans. However, most financial agencies were not ready to fund 60% since it was not financially viable.
However, the government has agreed for a 50:50 cost-sharing model and K-RIDE will take up the work since the railway board has given its nod,” said a railway official. K-RIDE officials said they will hire 40 staff in a month.
“We’ve started recruitment and are setting up a new office. The suburban rail project is yet to get clearance from the Union cabinet so we could take up these two projects to begin with. The proposed suburban rail alignment also passes through these sections, so undertaking both works by a single agency will be more feasible,” he said.
The doubling of Byappanahalli-Hosur and Yeshwantpur-Channasandra will also help railways operate more trains and cut down travel time. These lines pass through high-density corridors like Outer Ring Road and tech hubs like Electronics City and Bellandur.