Airport line not a priority for Bengaluru suburban rail now

In a major change in the strategy to the implementation of the Rs 15,767 crore Suburban Rail project, it has been decided to accord priority to two other corridors over the KSR Railway station-Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) corridor. The Baiyappanahalli-Chikkavabanavar line (second corridor) and the Heelalige-Rajanakunte line (fourth corridor) will be taken up for implementation first, according to multiple sources. 

In a meeting held on Monday, 21st June 2021, by the chief secretary via video conference with top officials of the state government and Railways, the Karnataka Rail Infrastructure Development Enterprises (K-RIDE) had presented the alignments it had readied for the two corridors, said a reliable source.

While it had been maintained that the KSR railway station-KIA line via Yeshwantpur and Yelahanka (billed as the first corridor) would be prioritised, the recent move has been taken due to the fact that Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has already called for tenders for its KR Puram-KIA Line via Hebbal (Reach 2B). “The objective is to provide rail connectivity across the city and ease transport woes. This will be best served if we start it in areas that are not served by this mode of public transport,” another source said. 

“The deadline for completion of the suburban rail project, with 57 stations, is 2026.  We hope to carry out most of the work on these two corridors in two-and-half years and then take up the Airport line after that,” the sources added. The meeting also discussed the need to consider extensions for the Suburban rail project.