BENGALURU (Metro Rail News): On Thursday Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa declared an initial allocation of Rs 500 cr for the suburban rail project as a part of efforts to ease traffic flow in Bengaluru. This follows Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union finance minister announcement of full support to the project at a current media interaction in Bengaluru where she told the finance ministry would help with funds as committed as the paperwork moves onward.
The project is expected to cost Rs 18,600 cr. Of this, the Centre and the state govt would give 20% each as equity. The Centre will also facilitate debt from multilateral lending agencies through providing a sovereign guarantee. The 148 km long suburban rail project with 55 stations would provide railway connection to fields like Outer Ring Road and Electronic City where a huge number of IT companies are established.
Citizens’ groups have been searching for implementation of the project without any further delay. Yediyurappa also told the state govt would bear half the project cost for doubling the Baiyappanahalli-Hosur and Yeshwanthpur-Channasandra railway tracks that he said, will help more suburban trains on these areas.
The budget also extended support to the struggling Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation to increase its fleet of buses. Yediyurappa told BMTC is in the process of purchasing 1,500 diesel buses at a cost of Rs 600 cr and the govt will also support the utility with a loan-subsidy by issuing Rs 100 cr per year over the next 7-years.
The govt has decided to get diesel buses in a phased manner. The BMTC had slowed down on expanding its fleet shortly as the National Green Tribunal had stayed the corporation’s decision to buy diesel buses rather than those run on clean energy.
The government has earmarked Rs 100 cr for buy 500 ordinary electric buses that yediyurappa told was in line with the plan to get 300 AC electric buses under the central govt’s ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric’ vehicles scheme.