A job undone, activists and citizens in Bengaluru reminded Prime Minister about the fragmentary suburban railway project. Activists stressed PM Narendra Modi by taking to social media to mention him about an unfulfilled promise. Hashtags like ChukuBukuCabinetClearanceBeku saw citizen groups like Whitfield Rising, Citizens for Bengaluru, requesting the PM to flag the way for endorsement by his cabinet.
A job not done- suburban railway project
As Prime Minister Modi visit Karnataka for a two-day tour, he was seen interacting with farmers as well as scientists in his scheduled programs in the state. However, Bengaluru residents were reluctant to see him leave without acknowledging their long-pending request for a suburban rail.
The 37-year-old project is stuck as the special purpose vehicle, which is likely to be christened Bengaluru Rail Infrastructure Development Enterprise (B-Ride), is yet to be set up through the extended railway board (ERB) gave its nod in November. As part of the # ChukuBukuCabinetClearanceBeku campaign, citizens groups have sought the PM’s intervention, saying the project has not gained momentum despite BJP-led governments at the center and state.
Chuku Buku Beku
Citizens shared videos of then railway minister Piyush Goyal’s commitment of creating a 160 km suburban network in Bengaluru worth ₹17,000 cr.
According to the project, it aims to build four corridors: Kengeri-Whitefield, KSR Bengaluru City- Rajanukunte, Nelamangala-Baiyappanahalli, and Heelalige-Devenahalli. The updated DPR of the project asserts that it will add 57 stations and will have a 148 km railway network. The state and central government will each share 50% of the cost of the project.
People say that the suburban railway plan will strengthen public transport in and around Bengaluru. Citizens groups had led a series of campaigns calling for a suburban railway network to be developed in the city. It has also been considered as one of the solutions to the city’s notorious traffic miseries.
A clear cabinet clearance
“For 36 years, all parties, Central and state governments, played football with suburban train projects, resulting in terrible traffic and pollution. Now we are told the project needs Union cabinet clearance to move forward. Dear @narendramodi Bengaluru demands #ChukuBukuCabinetClearanceBeku,” activist Srinivas Alavalli tweeted. He called for the cabinet approval to be given immediately.
For 36 years, all parties, central & state govts, played football with suburban train project, resulting in terrible traffic & pollution. Now we are told the project needs union cabinet clearance to move forward! Dear @narendramodi Bengaluru demands #ChukuBukuCabinetClearanceBeku pic.twitter.com/vTPA6p86qG
— Srinivas Alavilli (@srinualavilli) January 2, 2020
Authorizations say that the draft cabinet note for the project is now before the Union finance ministry. After the approval of the Union finance ministry, it will then go to the Union Railway Ministry and a final cabinet note will be provided and will be placed before the CCEA for the final permission.
Once the CCEA approves, K-RIDE will appoint a design specialist to fine-tune the classified four corridors. Moreover, it will also take up land acquisition surveys, preparing funds for the project and also to invite tenders for the project.