Byappanahalli terminal: Railways says no proposal to collect user fee

Facility, built at a cost of ₹314 cr. is awaiting inauguration

When it opens for commercial operations, the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal at Byappanahalli, which has been built along the lines of the Kempegowda International Airport complete with centralised air-conditioning, will be one of the swankiest terminals in the country. But ever since its state-of-the-art infrastructure made headlines, questions have been raised on whether the Railways will collect user fee from passengers.

Putting these concerns to rest, Naresh Salecha, member-Finance, Railway Board and ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India, who visited the terminal on Saturday, told the media that there was no proposal to levy user fee.

The Railways has spent ₹314 crore to build the terminal, which is spread over 4,200 sq.m and can accommodate 50,000 passengers per day. After his visit on Saturday, Mr. Salecha said it gives the impression of being at an airport in Bengaluru, Hyderabad or any other city.

“Amenities such as a waiting lounge, ticket counters, green initiatives and others are on a par with facilities available at airports,” he said.

When asked the likely date for its inauguration, he said, “It will happen shortly.” South Western Railway, which had initially planned to open the terminal by March 15, is waiting for a green signal from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Divisional Railway Manager (Bengaluru Division) Ashok Kumar Verma said the terminal would be handed over to Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd.

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