Thursday, 9 February 2012

Suburban trains to the regions in and around Bangalore

Bangalore's ever increasing population and the traffic caused by it is a known fact. The increase of population is not something that the government or the people can control ; besides the people who are looking at the city to settle down on a permanent basis, the number of people who are commuting up to and down the city from the nearby towns and cities is also immense. The floating population from the surrounding towns like Tumkur, Kolar, Kolar Gold Fields, Kunigal or even Mysore which is nearly 145 Km away from the city, is immense and is contributing to the traffic jams for which the city is notorious. As a consequence of the traffic, the commuting time, air pollution as also the fuel consumption in the city has been increasing. The health problems caused by these factors is a different issue altogether, though not discussed here, is one of the major issues that requires serious thinking. Experts after carrying out studies, have suggested the commissioning of a Commuter Rail System (CRS) for the city on the lines of Mumbai and Chennai where-in either the existing railway lines could be used to run trains from the city center to the nearby towns and cities. Due to the extensive use of the suburban trains by the people, these cities have exclusive lines for the suburban trains. The same model could be emulated in Bangalore so that the city's floating population which at present comprises of the government employees and the blue collar labor force, is benefited by means of a quick, safe and an inexpensive means of transport. In addition to the government employees and the labor class people, the agencies or even the private sector could look at the surrounding towns to meet the future housing requirements of the city as transportation, the major constraint at present, would be solved.

The below map shows my plan for the Bangalore Commuter Rail Service.

Some of the routes which I believe would do good are as follows :

Bangalore City - Kolar via Whitefield and Hosakote ( The Whitefield - Kolar railway line which is still under construction is expected to connect the major industrial hub and the residential areas along the line, besides the Volvo factory in Tavarekere en route)

Bangalore City - Kolar Gold Fields via Whitefield and Bangarpet which is a major town in the state.

Bangalore City - Tumkur via Yeshwantpur and Nelamangala

Bangalore City - Kunigal via Nelamangala

Bangalore City - Chikballapur via Yelahanka and Devanahalli ( this under-utilized route provides connectivity to Nandi Hills as well )

Bangalore City - Gauribidanur via Yelahanka and Dodballapur ( Gauribidanur is the last of major towns in Karnataka en route to Hindupur )

Bangalore City - Anekal via Byappanhalli and Sarjapur road

Bangalore City - Kanakapura via Kengeri ( as it is not possible not to lay any more railway lines in the crowded areas of the city like Banashankari and Basavanagudi )

Bangalore City - Channapatna via Kengeri, Bidadi and Kengeri

Bangalore City - Magadi ( a new line needs to be connected for this either from the Nagarbhavi area in the city or Yeshwantpur for this. When completed this would benefit a large number of people thereby decongesting the busy Magadi Road.

 The above plan also supports the idea of having more railway terminii outskirts of the city as presently the two railway stations at Bangalore City and Yeshwantpur are more than just saturated. Besides working out to be cheaper, the commuter rail system aids the passengers to carry more baggage unlike the metro (which is expensive due to the air-conditioning facility) where there an upper limit has been imposed on the weight of the permissible baggage.

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