Commuters welcome fund allocation in State budget
The Karnataka budget, which was announced on Monday, has provided much-needed push to Bengaluru’s suburban rail project with an allocation of ₹850 crore for the next financial year. Rail activists have hailed the move, saying that it has given a fillip to the long-delayed mass transit project.
Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Limited, a joint venture of the State and Central governments, is building a 148-km rail network with four corridors and proposes to construct 57 stations. In the first phase, K-RIDE will focus on the Baiyappanahalli to Chikkabanavara, and Heelalige to Rajankunte corridors.
“The Centre had made an allocation of ₹300 crore for the project in the Union budget. That, along with the State government’s allocation, is a good move. We are hoping that least one of the corridors will be operational in the next two years,” said Sanjeev Dyamannavar, a rail activist.
K-RIDE Managing Director Amit Garg said construction will start this year. “The K-RIDE has already taken up various works related to the suburban rail project, including consultation, design, and identification of land for acquisition,” he said. The project requires ₹15,767 crore and six years to complete.
The budget also stated that the line doubling projects in Yeshwanthpura-Channasandra and Baiyappanahalli-Hosur divisions will be completed by 2023. K-RIDE is implementing them at a cost of ₹813 crore in collaboration with the Railway Ministry on a 50% cost-sharing basis.
Remembering Suresh Angadi
The State government has provided a grant of ₹463 crore to implement a 73-km new rail line between Dharwad, Kittur and Belagavi. This project was announced by the Centre in its budget at a total cost of ₹927 crore.
Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, while unveiling the budget, said the project was sanctioned as a result of the continuous efforts of the late former Union Minister Suresh Angadi. “True respect to late Shri Suresh Angadi will be paid by early completion of this project,” the budget stated
The State government has taken up seven new projects for laying of 1,173 kilometres of rail line on a 50:50 cost-sharing basis with the Railway Ministry. The estimated cost of these works is ₹7,984 crore. Land acquisition is expected to cost ₹2,630 crore.
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