Bengaluru's suburban rail project worth Rs 23000 crore finally gets a go ahead, to have 82 stations

The announcement was made after Piyush Goyal met the Karnataka Chief Minister on Friday to resolve the issues holding up the rail project. 

Bengaluru's suburban rail project worth Rs 23000 crore finally gets a go ahead, to have 82 stations

BENGALURU: Ending a long wait and numerous discussions, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday announced the Bengaluru suburban rail project. The project worth Rs 23,000 crore is estimated to be completed in six years and will have 82 stations. The rail line will also be a respite for commuters as it will connect the city to the Kempegowda International Airport.

The announcement was made after Goyal met the Karnataka Chief Minister on Friday to resolve the issues holding up the rail project. He also announced a slew of measures that will be taken together by the Centre and the State government to put the project back on track. 

In a joint press conference after the meeting, the Railway Minister said: "Bengaluru sub-urban railway project had come to a stalemate since long. It was under discussion for about 20 years. I ordered a feasibility study and got its report in 30 days. We included this project in the budget of 2018-19, subject to the approval of the state government."

He also added that to end the stalemate, the government even changed the suburban policy. "Within a span of 16-17 months we converted a dream into a reality and for that, we even changed the suburban policy which had envisaged 80 per cent state government and 20 per cent central government share. We will change that to 50-50," he said.

Goyal announced that land worth thousands of crores will be given to the city on lease for a token amount. "Railways have also agreed that Rs 6000 crore worth of land will be given at only Re 1 token lease rent to Bengaluru for this project. We believe that Bangalore citizens have waited long enough and they should get this facility. We have resolved all the issues," he asserted.

Expressing delight over the green signal to the project, Kumaraswamy said, "All the things we settled down today. I am very grateful to him for taking speedy decision to put the foundation stone for the suburban railway." The CM also extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay the foundation of the suburban railway.

The CM also assured that in the next cabinet meeting, the state government will pass a resolution on the decisions taken regarding the rail project.