Monday, January 04, 2010

Railway Ministry considering circular railway for Bangalore

Railway Ministry considering circular railway for Bangalore

Staff Reporter
Muniyappa flags off Yeshwanthpur-Howrah Duranto Express
— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

New service: People getting ready to board the Duranto Express at Yeshwanthpur Railway Station in Bangalore on Sunday.
BANGALORE: Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa on Sunday said the Ministry would consider the proposal to provide a circular railway network for Bangalore city and a survey would shortly be conducted for the purpose.

He was responding to Bangalore South MP H.N. Ananth Kumar’s plea to introduce such a network for the city, which has grown tremendously over the years.

“We are aware that a circular railway network is highly essential for Bangalore given the present situation. We are at it,” the Minister said.

As a first step, Mr. Muniyappa said he had announced the operation of passenger trains between Yeshwanthpur and Anekal, and Yeshwanthpur and Devanahalli, from March this year.

‘Essential’
Mr. Ananth Kumar said Bangalore’s population had almost reached one crore and that the circular railway system was absolutely essential to complement the bus and metro railway services. An adequate railway network across the city and nodes at Kengeri, Krishnarajapuram, Yelahanka and Yeshwanthpur had been developed. Lines had been electrified and at some stretches, they needed to be doubled, the MP told the Minister.

The State Government had earlier commissioned a survey through RITES for the circular railway, and on its basis, the South Western Railway could plan the operation of passenger trains with stops at every two km, he said.

On traffic integration at Yeshwanthpur, Mr. Ananth Kumar said the S.M. Krishna Government had proposed to construct a bus station near Yeshwanthpur Railway Station when he (Mr. Ananth Kumar) was Union Urban Development Minister. “Things did not proceed further at that point of time. However, at this point, I can request Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to consider the proposal afresh if the Railways agrees to the same,” he told Mr. Muniyappa.

The Duranto
Mr. Muniyappa, who inaugurated the Duranto Express, said the non-stop train would cover a distance of 1,946 km in 29 hours instead of the regular 36 hours taken by existing services. Unlike the superfast Rajdhani Express trains, Duranto Express trains also have regular three-tier sleeper coaches.

He said Duranto coaches had been provided with micro-controller-based roof-mounted package units with compact control panels.

The air-conditioned coaches were now equipped with a humidity control mechanism, he added.

Technology upgradation
Responding to questions from presspersons on the accidents that claimed over 10 lives in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, Mr. Muniyappa said the Railways always regarded human life as valuable and had been taking all steps to ensure safety. He said the Ministry would upgrade technology to prevent accidents.

“Saturday’s accident prima facie appears to be due to thick fog, but details will be known only after a regular inquiry,” he said.

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