Since 1983, the Karnataka governments have wished to connect Bengaluru with its suburbs by a rail-based rapid-transit system. Finally, the long-awaited project appears to be taking shape, with the state administration stating that construction will begin in three months. The project, which is slated to be finished by 2026 at a cost of Rs 15,767 crore, has been named “India’s most integrated rail project.”
What exactly is the Suburban Rail Project in Bengaluru?
The Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (BSRP) was first suggested in 1983 and has remained a dream of several Karnataka administrations since then. The project was presented by an expert team from the then-Southern Railway (Bengaluru currently falls within the purview of the South Western Railway) and was anticipated to stretch for 58 kilometres. The idea was then submitted as part of Karnataka’s inaugural Transportation Survey, which had been commissioned by then-Chief Minister R Gundu Rao.
A rail-based rapid-transit system will connect Bengaluru to its satellite townships, suburbs, and neighbouring rural areas. With air-conditioned and metro-like trains expected to run over the network, the BSRP will also provide a faster, safer, and more comfortable method of transportation to hundreds of thousands of rural and urban commuters, according to officials. Despite the fact that numerous proposals for the project have emerged over the years, the primary purpose of connecting Bengaluru city to its suburbs remains unchanged.
Who is in charge of the project’s conception and execution?
The Rail Infrastructure Development Company, Karnataka (K-RIDE), a joint venture of the Karnataka government and the Union Ministry of Railways, is in responsibility of conceptualising and executing the rail project. It is expected to be finished in 2026 at a cost of Rs 15,767 crore.
Which areas will be served by BSRP?
According to the most recent BSRP blueprint, the project will span 148.17 kilometres of rail network. The system is expected to connect the Karnataka capital to its outskirts in six directions, with 57 stations planned across four corridors — towards Kengeri (Mysuru side), Chikkabanavara (Tumakuru side), Rajanukunte (Doddaballapura side), Devanahalli (Kolar side), Whitefield (Bangarapet side), and Heelalige.
What are the names of the four corridors?
Sampige (Champa), Mallige (Chameli), Parijata (Prajakta), and Kanaka are the names of the four corridors (Priyardarsha). Surprisingly, the first letters of these variants can be combined to form the word “Samparka,” which signifies “connection” in Kannada.
Corridor-1, often known as “Sampige,” stretches 41.40 kilometres from KSR Bengaluru City (Majestic) to Devanahalli, with 15 stations in between. The “Mallige,” also known as Corridor-2, will link neighbourhoods between Baiyappanahalli Terminal and Chikkabanavara. It has 14 stations across a distance of 25 kilometres.
Corridor-3, or “Parijata,” will be 35.52 kilometres long with 19 stations connecting Kengeri and Whitefield, while Corridor-4, or “Kanaka,” will include a further 19 stations connecting the remaining 46.24 kilometres of rail line.
What are the project’s objectives?
According to K-RIDE authorities, the BSRP is intended to provide connectivity, convenience, a cost-effective commute, convergence, commercial stimulation, and a form of sustainable mobility. It is also planned that the fares will be cost-effective, as a significant portion of the project’s expenses will be raised through innovative project finance and land monetisation. Furthermore, Bengaluru’s suburban rail network is intended to incorporate numerous means of transportation. “Passengers will be able to interchange with other forms of transportation such as Indian Railways and the local Metro network at more than 60% of its stations,” officials explained.
While the BSRP is planned to serve 10 lakh commuters per day once it is operational, it will also serve as a sustainable mobility option, alleviating Bengaluru’s traffic difficulties and lowering the city’s carbon impact. In addition, K-RIDE intends to convert the stations into integrated commercial centres in order to boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” agenda. According to the idea, each of these facilities will be known as a “Smart Station Hub.”
What services will the Smart Station Hubs provide?
All 57 K-RIDE stations will be transformed into integrated commercial centres (smart station hubs) where people can work, park, and shop, dine, and trade. “These hubs are expected to be multi-story and will support numerous enterprises, monetising land parcels in and around stations, utilising air-space for commercial operations, and enabling rail-to-rail, rail-to-metro, and rail-to-air changeover,” according to K-RIDE authorities. Shopping and retail activities, plug-and-play workstations, parking facilities, and hotel and convention spaces are also scheduled to be housed in the hubs.