Work On Bengaluru Cantonment-Whitefield Line To Begin Immediately; 62000 Daily Commuters Breathe Easy
The railways sanctioned INR 492.87-crore on Tuesday for adding two more tracks to the Bengaluru Cantonment-Whitefield railway line, a project that has been pending for more than 20 years now. The project was initially sanctioned in 1997-98 where the Bengaluru City (Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna)-Whitefield section was planned to be quadrupled. However, the project hit a dead end due to the high cost involved and scarcity of land between Bengaluru Cantonment and Bengaluru City stations.
“Though the Ministry of Urban Development subsequently recommended the Transit-Oriented Development of Krishnarajapuram and Whitefield stations involving (an) extension of Bengaluru Metro, it had been decided to drop the quadrupling project considering its non-viability,” noted a Press Information Bureau statement.
Finally, it has got a fresh lease of life, giving thousands of commuters, mostly IT professionals, who commute from the City to Whitefield, a reason to rejoice. The project is expected to be completed in two to three years. Commuters are looking forward to a more comfortable travelling experience once the two lines are added. The officials have modified the proposal by limiting this project to the Cantonment-Whitefield line. This is because the railways have land in this section.
“One track will be built on either side of the existing two lines. The project will be taken up immediately and (is) planned to be completed within a period of two or three years. It will be a boon to the local public of Bengaluru, especially belonging to the IT hub of Whitefield area,” the Ministry said.
Due to the massive traffic snarls on Whitefield Main Road and Old Madras Road because of metro work, commuters have been demanding more trains on the Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield line for years. It soon became evident that officials were helpless running additional trains during peak hours, as intercity trains also had to be accommodated. The route sees around 30 trains on an average every day. However, it is time to rejoice as more trains will be added soon. Over these last few months, the suburban rail project has also gained steam.
It received its biggest boost in the Union Budget where a sum of INR 12,000-crore was announced. In order to increase carrying capacity, the railways are looking to fully automate signalling on this route within the month of July. This system will reduce the headway, which is the distance between two trains on a single track. It is expected to double the route capacity. Currently, a train gets the green signal only when the track is clear for the next 25 kilometres. The quadrupling will likely benefit 62,000 daily commuters. Work will begin immediately though finding land could be a problem.