Suburban railway network project to take 5 years
Suburban railway network project to take 5 years

Bengaluru: As the Centre and the state have allocated the funds in their respective budgets for the purpose of a local rail network, the sources within the urban development department (UDD) have said that the project might not be simple and is more likely to be taking a period of five years to finish.

While the project timeline has been indicating that the suburban rail network will be up and running in the next three years, with all the four rail corridors being electrified and set up with a mainline electric multiple unit (Memu) coaches, the actual completion may take no less than five years.

“While, on paper, we are expecting the project to be delivered in the next three years, the ground realities of land acquisition, cost escalations and other legal hurdles will push the completion time to five years,” said a UDD official.

The minister of state for railways, Rajen Gohain had pointed out the reason for delay, while replying to the MP of Karnataka DK Suresh (Congress) and Naleen Kumar Kateel (BJP) recently in the Lok Sabha, said: “Timeframe for implementation of the project will be decided once it is sanctioned.”

According to the sources of the state government, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) required for the project is still in the pipeline, with the article of association (AoA) and the memorandum of understanding (MoU) which is yet to be formed between the state and central government.

The total cost of the project which was pegged at Rs 19,499 crore (after an escalation from Rs 17,000 crore) is now set to go up further. The state and the central governments will be providing a maximum of Rs 7,000 crore, as the remaining is said to be financed through market borrowings by the SPV, which will be implementing the project.

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