Monday, Aug 30, 2010: CiSTUP, IISc, and Praja.in organized a round table event, Namma Railu 2010 to discuss Commuter Rail System (CRS) as a mobility solution to enable growth of Bengaluru Metropolitan Region (BMR). The event was chaired by Dr A Ravindra, Advisor to the CM. Mr Krishna Byregowda, MLA, several senior officials from transportation and infrastructure departments of Government of Karnataka (GoK), and senior officials from Bangalore division of South Western Railway were present.
The group agreed that a CRS run on existing railway tracks can help connect Bengaluru to surrounding towns like Bangarapet, Chikballapur, Tumkur, Anekal or Ramanagara, etc. Fast and reliable connectivity to surrounding towns can help in de-congestion of the city as well as better planning of BMR.
Recognizing that CRS project proposals have been discussed for well over a decade now, the participants engaged in a discussion on what is required to make CRS a reality for Bengaluru and surrounding regions. Discussions began on the right note with Mr V Madhu, principal secretary, Infrastructure Development Department (IDD) stating that GoK is keen on the project and had earlier announced support to Railways. Some expressed the opinion that lack of enthusiastic participation from Railways is one reason why CRS has not seen serious implementation efforts so far.
South Western Railway officials pointed out that railway assets in the city are being used to meet the demand for long distance trains and there is not enough spare capacity to run additional services on them. Some participants observed that it may be possible to optimize the usage of railway assets in the city via investments like automated signaling.
The approach of looking at Commuter Rail inside the crowded city area, and inside Outer Ring Road, separately from the same in the BMRDA area, was also brought up. Some participants observed that it may be good enough to start with a plan to connect surrounding towns with emerging hubs like Byappanahalli, Yeshwantpur or Hebbal. BMTC and Namma Metro would be ready and can provide the onward mobility within the central area of the city.
The round table ended with the agreement that a smaller group of state government and South Western Railways officials come together and produce a Terms of Reference (TOR) to establish the common ground and framework for detailing CRS as a solution. Mr Ravindra requested Prof Sitharam, chairman, CiSTUP to anchor the group and submit the TOR to him within 6 weeks.
A partial list of those who attended the Round Table is included below for reference (in the order in which they spoke):
Dr A Ravindra, Advisor to the CM, Urban Affairs
Shri V Madhu, Principal Secretary, Infrastructure Development Dept, Govt of Karnataka,
Shri Krishna Byregowda, MLA
Shri M K Shankar Linge Gowda, IAS, Secretary to Govt, Transport Dept.
Dr.Ashwin Mahesh, ABIDe, IIM, Bangalore
Shri N Sivasailam, IAS, Managing Director, BMRC
Shri B S Sudhir Chandra, Director (P&P), BMRC
Shri N P Sharma, CE, BMRC
Shri Haldar, Chief Passenger Traffic Member, Hubli
Shri Sudhanshu Mani, DRM, SWR, Bangalore Div.
Shri Babu, Sr.DOM, SWR, Bangalore Div.
Prof.M N Sreehari, Advisor to Government, Traffic, Transport & Infrastructure
Shri P E Vivek Menon, Managing Director, Invicus Engineering Co.
Shri Prakash Mundoth, FKCCI
Prof T G Sitaram, Chairman, CiSTUP, IISc.
Members of Praja.in
For more details:
On the event including photos, please visit http://praja.in/en/blog/naveen/2010/08/30/namma-railu-event-minutes-meeting
On the Commuter Rail Initiative including the Call To Action report please visit http://praja.in/en/nammarailu
Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP) is a joint initiative of Government of Karnataka and India Institute of Science (IISc) to develop a center for unique expertise in the areas of infrastructure, sustainable transportation and urban planning. CiSTUP engages in several activities such as basic and applied research and development, academic activities, training programmes, workshops and consultancy projects in the areas of infrastructure, sustainable transportation and urban planning.
Praja.in (www.praja.in) is non-profit citizen networking platform that promotes constructive discourse and encourages engagement on local civic issues. It is a growing Internet based local community with 4000 registered members and over 35000 unique visitors every month
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