Start Bengaluru Suburban Rail NOW, on existing infrastructure!
Start Bengaluru Suburban Rail NOW, on existing infrastructure!
Bengaluru one of the busiest metro cities in India, is choking due to lack of Public Transport, causing billions of dollars in loss of productivity, contributing to pollution and stress, and affecting the health and well-being of its residents. Bengaluru's potential and it's population are stifled by the lack of ease of mobility, and the Govt's inability to chart out a multi-modal transit strategy to deal with it.
Bengaluru is sleeping on one of its oldest assets, a century old Rail Network that passes through almost 75% of its geography, which has not been utilised to provide a Suburban Rail Network, that could easily address more than half it's commute requirements. This is due to lack of integrated planning, lack of awareness, and a lack of political will.
The solution is amazingly simple
- Modernise the existing infrastructure by minor interventions such as
- Electronic Signalling on the entire network.
- Establishing a Control Room.
- Doubling / Quadrupling of all sections.
- Upgrading of all Railway stations and proper access for commuters, with proper facilities.
- Establish efficient multi-modal connect with other forms of transport such as buses, metro, etc.,
- Prioritise Local Trains, shift goods trains to non-peak and night hours, and open up at least four slots every hour on each corridor for local trains!
- With all of the above, create high efficiency, and room for local trains at min 15 mins frequency on all lines.
- Establish 7 corridors on existing lines, that will address backbone transport for Bengaluru & neighbouring districts:
- MANDYA - BANGARPET 1 (via Majestic, Cantonment, Byappanahalli, KR Puram, Whitefield)
- MANDYA - BANGARPET 2 (via Majestic, Yeshwantpur, Hebbal, Byappanahalli, Whitefield)
- AIRPORT EXPRESS 1: CANTONMENT TO KOLAR (via Byappanahalli, Channasandra, Yelahanka, Airport, Devanahalli)
- AIRPORT EXPRESS 2: MANDYA - KOLAR (via Nayandahalli, Majestic, Yeshwantpur, Yelahanka, Airport, Devanahalli)
- TUMKUR - HOSUR (via Chikkabanawara, Hebbal, Byappanahalli, Karmelaram, Heelalige)
- TUMKUR - BANGARPET (via Chikkabanawara, Hebbal, Byappanahalli, KR Puram, Whitefield)
- DODDABALLAPUR - BANGARPET (via Yelahanka, Thanisandra, Channasandra, KR Puram, Whitefield)
- AND FINALLY: Regular frequency, dependability:
At least One local train every 15 mins during peak hours.
At least One local train every 30 mins during non-peak hours.
At least One local train every hour between midnight and 4 am.
These demands were clearly spelt out in a petition released earlier: bit.ly/BlrSuburbanNow
WHY THIS FACILITY ON EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE IS CRITICAL?
The govt has announced a Rs 23,000 Crore project for Bengaluru. But that project is based on creation of new infrastructure, and hence it will take anywhere between 7 - 10 years for it to materialise. Bengaluru requires immediate relief, and only a service launched immediately on existing infrastructure can do that.
The Railways runs a skeletal Suburban Rail service already, but due to lack of frequency, it is not treated as a reliable mode of transport by the public.
The reality is that the South Western Railways has just had a history of bad management and allocation of resources. It is probably the worst run Railway division. We have unfortunately learnt to accept their low benchmarks as normal, and we say they don’t have the capacity to run more trains. How can we accept their poor standards as the only ideal?
In Mumbai, the railways runs trains every 3 mins on every line, but at the same time, in Bengaluru, in most corridors, there might be just one train in 3 hours or more. Why this contrast in performance? This monumental inefficiency and waste of resources, only by the Bengaluru Sub Division of Railways, and why is it being condoned and why do we find excuses to pass it off as normal?
What we are calling for is a transformation of the management of South Western Railways, and challenge it to improve its performance against the benchmark of highly efficient divisions like the Mumbai division.
- An immediate target benchmark for performance be issued to the Bengaluru division, and ask them to upgrade their game, immediately.
- Ask the division to submit their requirements to enhance their performance of trips on each railway line, against a target of one train every 5 mins, if not every 3 mins.
- Let them submit a list of their choking points, and solutions that are required to overcome these, and what support they require from the govt.
- Ensure that they are allotted whatever support is required in terms of budgets, infrastructure support, and government assistance.
If they can match this target set for them, then they can very easily meet the demand that we have in our petition, ie. to set up a functional local train service in 7 corridors, at the frequency of one train every 15 mins, in a matter of months.
This is not rocket science. It is just pure common sense and all it requires is some sound management effort, and the full support of the State and Union govts. If the Railways says that it is unable to meet this challenge, ask them to hold a public consultation, we’ll line up the best experts and citizens to offer solutions to make up for their lack of imagination and ability, to help them along.
This solution, if pressed into service, will completely transform the mobility landscape of Bengaluru and offer both residents of Bengaluru and the neighbouring districts a viable alternative to road transport and lead to a decongestion of our roads, and cleaning up of its atmosphere of pollution to a large extent, and make the lives of residents and commuters much better.
Good for the Local Economy too:
The Suburban Rail services, will also create a new economy for last mile solution providers such as autos, taxis, share autos and share taxis, mini buses, BMTC, at every single railway station, and overall help the economy by providing more livelihoods to city residents.
Set up a task force to implement this within a 3 month period and support with the necessary funds and other requirements, right now!
#BengaluruSuburbanNOW #BlrSuburbanNOW #BluruLocalNOW #BluruLocalEegale #BluruLocalKudale