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Ahead of Polls, Bengaluru Gets Rs 17K Crore Suburban Rail Project

A suburban network of 160 km will be developed in Bengaluru, announced Arun Jaitley in his Budget 2018 speech. 

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India
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The Union Budget 2018 was to be a preamble to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto in poll-bound Karnataka. Although only one project specific to the state has been announced, it has found resonance with the urban population of the state’s capital.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely proposed Rs 17,000 for the development of the Bengaluru’s suburban rail network, which has been a long-pending demand from denizens.

“A suburban network of approximately 160 kilometres at an estimated cost of Rs 17,000 crore is being planned to cater to the growth of the Bengaluru metropolitan,” Jaitley announced.

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On Wednesday, 31 January, the Karnataka Cabinet approved phase 1(A) Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project, which was already in the pipeline. The new proposal now increases the scope and magnitude of the urban rail project.

While the first phase focuses of improving the existing infrastructure, the project announced in the Budget will facilitate development of new infrastructure for the Suburban Railway Project.

As part of the first phase, the Karnataka government had announced the release of Rs 349 crore, which was the state’s share in the project. The project, which costs Rs 1,745 crore, was to be divided between the Karnataka government, Central government, and a special project vehicle.

Phase 1 would improve stations like Banaswadi, Yelahanka, Yeshwantpur, Kengeri, Cox Town, Malleswaram, Ramanagaram, Whitefield, Doddaballapur and Nelamangala stations with modern amenities.

The larger project announced in the Budget would see the construction of 160 km rail network, including the new elevated track. The project would also see the introduction of high-speed trains, which can run up to 125 km an hour.

The BJP was soon to cash in on the new announcement, even though the project cost of Rs 17,000 would be shared between the state and Centre.

BJP president Amit Shah and the state leaders, who have extensively mentioned the funds released by the government during their campaign speeches, are expected to the use the Suburban Rail Project to appeal to the urban voters of the Bengaluru.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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