PM Modi to lay the foundation stone for Bengaluru suburban rail project in 3 months: BS Yediyurappa

Chief minister BS Yediyurappa announced that the foundation stone for the first phase of the much hyped and awaited suburban rail link will be laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi three months from today.

On Thursday, 24th June 2021, Yediyurappa took a ride along the Bengaluru Cantonment- Heelalige stretch to inspect the doubling work of the Indian railways. The same stretch will be used for the suburban rail first phase work from Heelalige (Chandapura) – Rajanukunte. Soon after his inspection, Yediyurappa spoke to the media and said: “The Bengaluru suburban rail project is one of the more prominent projects which were announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is close to his heart. As a result, we have no doubt that the PM will lay the foundation stone for the project three months from today, when we have finalised the tenders for the first phase.

According to government officials, Karnataka has already written to the PMO asking for his consent to lay the foundation stone when the tenders are finalised for the first phase. “In fact, we wanted the PM to lay it earlier last month itself but due to Covid19 we could not complete our tendering process. And, inviting the PM for the foundation stone laying ceremony without finalising the tenders will be embarrassing. Now, with the tenders likely to be completed in three months’ time, we have sought PMO permission for the ground breaking ceremony,” said one government official.

Meanwhile, after the inspection, Yediuyrappa also announced that the Centre has given its approval for Rs 7,400 crore external borrowings as part of the 15,767 crore project. The project is being funded in the ratio of 20:20:60, with state and centre having equal fiscal responsibility and the rest 60 percent of the funding is to be generated from loans.

Sources suggest that the external borrowings will be from foreign agencies, for which the ministry of finance has given its “inprincipal” approval. Bengaluru suburban rail project, which is being executed by K-RIDE (Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Limited), the JV of Karnataka government and Union railways ministry, will have four corridors with route length of 148 Km.

The corridors are :

  • KSR Bengaluru City – Devanahalli via Kempegowda International Airport (41.40km),
  • Byappanahalli – Chikkabanavara (25 Km),
  • Kengeri – Whitefield (35.52 Km),
  • Heelalige (Chandapura)– Rajankunte (46.24 Km).

Among the four corridors, work on Byappanahalli-Chikkabanavara and Heelalige-Rajankunte will be taken up initially” said a release from CM’s office.

Two doubling projects to be completed by 2023

The single rail line between Yeswantpur – Channasandra and Byappanahalli – Hosur was a major constraint for operating more trains from Bengaluru to its outskirts. These two doubling projects were sanctioned in 2018-19 with 50-50 cost sharing between Karnataka government and Union ministry of railways and are being executed by K-RIDE.

The 48 km Byappanahalli-Hosur railway doubling project is being implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 499 crore. Of this, the state government will bear a total of Rs 250 crore and has already released Rs 65 crore for this project in 2020-21. This project began in October 2020 and is expected to be completed by December 2023.

“Tender process is in progress and at present earth work, extension of major bridges and minor bridges are in progress”, said a release from SWR. Similarly, 22 km long Yeswantpur – Channasandra railway doubling project is being taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 315 crore. The state government will bear Rs 157 crore and Rs 35 crore was released during 2020-21.

“The work on the project has commenced from October 2020 and is planned to be completed by December 2023. All major tenders pertaining to the project like civil works, S&T works have been awarded. At present earthwork is in progress”, it said. On completion of these two doubling projects, additional train services can be operated from Yeswantpur/KSR Bengaluru City railway stations. “The CM directed the officials to complete the works in a time bound manner”, the release adds.