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News Posts by karbang~

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Sep 21 (15:15) Asansol rail stn gets premium lounge even as Howrah, Sealdah wait (newsmen.in)
Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 359430  Blog Entry# 3827497   
  Past Edits
Sep 21 2018 (15:15)
Station Tag: Asansol Junction/ASN added by karbang~/50057
Stations:  Asansol Junction/ASN  
Passengers shall have to pay to use the facility
Asansol: Even as the ones planned at Howrah and Sealdah railway stations are hanging fire, Asansol railway station today got a premium lounge for the passengers to relax while waiting for a train.
Union minister and Asansol BJP MP, Babul Supriyo, today inaugurated the premium lounge spread over an area of 200 square metres. The fully air-conditioned lounge has been set up at a cost of Rs 24 lakhs, Eastern Railway said.
lounge is equipped with push sofa and cosy recliners placed in a serene interior, with artworks and modern electrical fittings on the walls. It has attached separate washrooms for men and women and public address system to relay the announcement about arrival and departure of trains.
Unlike the passengers waiting rooms in railway stations that a person with reserved tickets can use without paying an extra charge, to use the premium lounge one will be required to pay Rs 30 an hour.
Important railway stations in Metro cities like Delhi and Bangalore have such lunges for several years now and upscale passengers prefer them over the waiting room, which is usually crowded.
Sep 20 (12:30) MPs to take up suburban rail project with CM - The Hindu (www.thehindu.com)

News Entry# 359195  Blog Entry# 3823871   
  Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
With plans for the suburban railway network chugging along slowly, MPs across party lines will petition Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to expedite the formation of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will implement the ambitious and critical mass rapid project in the city. On Tuesday, eight Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs representing constituencies in and around the city met South Western Railways officials to discuss various demands, including suburban rail.
Railways officials informed the MPs that RITES had been entrusted with the detailed feasibility study, and the preliminary report was expected later in September. The final report would be submitted by November 2018 following which tenders could be floated on the various aspects to augment local train travel.
to reporters after the meeting, Bengaluru Central MP P.C. Mohan said though the railways has consented to implementation of suburban rail network, the State government is yet to do it share. “The State government had objected to the policy, which had said the railways would pay only 20% of the cost. The Railways then agreed to pay nearly half the cost. And yet, there preliminary paperwork to set up the SPV is not moving fast enough... Providing urban transport is the responsibility of the State government,” said Mr. Mohan.
The MPs have decided to meet Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy in a week, he said.
While the Railways had consented to changing the funding pattern in the last week of August, the new policy would have to be approved by the State cabinet.
Citizens For Bengaluru (CfB), an informal group of concerned citizens who had campaigned for the suburban rail network, said the meeting took up many of their demands, including more trains, increased frequency and convenient timings for commuters, and doubling / electrification along the IT corridor and the Whitefield-K.R. Puram sector.
“We hope that Railways acts on all the immediately actionable demands with a sense of urgency and brings relief to commuters, especially those travelling to ORR, E-City and Whitefield,” said Srinivas Alavilli of CfB.
Hurdle of land acquisition
In the scheduled meeting with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, MPs will also take up the acquisition of 10 acres at Binny Mill near KSR Railway Station and 40 acres of NGEF near Banaswadi Railway Station for decongestion and development of both stations. Though the Railways had written to the State government for handing over land, there is little progress.
During the meeting, MP Veerappa Moily brought up the issue of the long-pending underpass at Yelahanka NES.
Railways officials said that while the BBMP is to pay ₹8.03 crore, they had so far deposited just ₹12.58 lakh. Work could be taken up only after the amount is deposited.
Sep 18 (09:04) Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy must form Special Purpose Vehicles if he is serious about suburb (bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com)
Commentary/Human Interest
SWR/South Western

News Entry# 358669  Blog Entry# 3817509   
  Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
After Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy (HDK) said in his interview to Bangalore Mirror (Sept 17, 2018) that most of the hurdles for the suburban trains had been cleared, Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan has said that HDK should now focus on forming the Special Purpose Vehicle without which there is no way forward. To ensure that the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) are approved by the CM, he plans to request him personally to not delay it any further. How important is the suburban railway network to Bengaluru? The need for suburban trains in the city was felt 10 years back with the sudden influx of people into the city, but the government did not pursue it then. Bengaluru is an IT hub that generates 70 per cent of the state’s revenue. If the government invests Rs 2,000 crore in suburban railways, 35 lakh passengers in and around the city will benefit...
every day. But they are going for options from which they can make money. A few years ago, the RITES report had clearly stated that if Bengaluru’s commuters shift to suburban railways, the overall traffic on the roads will come down by 25%. What steps should the government take now? There should be a dedicated metro line to the airport that goes directly inside the airport like the one in Delhi. Land acquisition has been done for that but there is still no progress yet. I had raised concerns over the traffic situation in the city when Mamata Banerjee was the Railway Minister from 2004- 2009 but she had not shown any interest in the matter then. Subsequent governments too didn’t take up the matter seriously and the traffic situation worsened. In 2014, when the Narendra Modi government came to power, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal showed interest and sanctioned Rs 17,000 crore for the rail budget. He also allocated Rs 100 cr for the detailed project report.What are the major hurdles in the suburban train plan?Though the Central government has passed the proposal for the SPV, the state government is yet to clear it. I had written a letter to the CM to expedite the process of setting up of SPVs on August 27, but it has not been done yet. We need additional railway lines for short distance travel within city limits. We require SPVs as soon as possible so that additional infrastructural development can take place after that. We need suburban trains during peak hours. You are the first MP in the country to build a full-fledged railway station (in Hoodi). What do you plan next here?People are now demanding a foot overbridge for which Rs 2.8 cr has been sanctioned. I am ready to use the MP funds to develop halt stations in other areas too. I also made efforts to introduce suburban trains from Baiyyapanahalli to Whitefield. I have compiled all the demands to be presented to the Railway Minister during my meeting with him on September 18. The first priority will be to provide Metro connectivity to the airport. Subsidies must also be provided to the BMTC to make provisions for last mile connectivity.
Sep 18 (09:02) Techie’s petition seeks trains to airport (bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com)
Commentary/Human Interest
SWR/South Western

News Entry# 358668  Blog Entry# 3817505   
  Past Edits
Sep 18 2018 (09:02)
Station Tag: Devanahalli/DHL added by karbang~/50057

Sep 18 2018 (09:02)
Station Tag: Yelahanka Junction/YNK added by karbang~/50057
Rajkumar Dugal, a resident of Vasanthnagar, who works in an IT firm, has launched an online petition to start suburban train service to the airport. The petition, launched on September 2, has got 3,700 signatures in support. Through the petition, he wants to raise awareness about the existing railway line below Trumpet Interchange which goes from Yelahanka to Devanahalli and beyond. He says, “I am planning to meet Deputy CM G Parameshwara soon and discuss the matter with him. As per BIAL estimate, 75,000 passengers travel to the airport and back every day. This number is expected to triple in the coming years. With such large passenger traffic, the airport needs a train connectivity. The suburban train from Yelahanaka to the nearest station to the airport takes only 30 minutes to travel 26 kms. And if we have faster trains to the airport, it will further reduce to 20 minutes.”The petition...
talks about several alternative options to increase connectivity to the airport, including new road routes. “But this option is not sustainable as it will only lead to increase in dependence on private vehicles and will only aggravate the problems at a huge cost. Increasing BMTC Buses to airport can lead to some reduction in vehicular traffic, but there is a limit to which BMTC can make a difference.” “The best option is starting trains to the airport as rail infrastructure already exists in terms of railway lines from both Yeswanthpur (YPR) and Byappanahalli (BYPL) to the entrance of the airport near the road to Devanahalli . Running trains on these 2 lines — which converge at Yelahanka (YNK) — specifically for the airport, would lead to drastic reduction in traffic all over Bengaluru. This is the only way out to come out of traffic chaos,” he said.
Sep 08 (10:41) Rs 350, time and sanity: What a missed rail yatra cost me! (bengaluru.citizenmatters.in)
Commentary/Human Interest
SWR/South Western

News Entry# 356249  Blog Entry# 3788719   
  Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
It was a day filled with obvious contrasts  – the kind that would ideally help make right decisions about the nightmare that we know as urban transport in Bangalore. The question of mass transit versus private vehicles was never answered more effectively for me.
On Friday, the last day of August, I was slated to cover the Rail Yatra that was being organised by Citizens For Bengaluru, to reiterate their demand for a suburban rail service for the city. The 3 pm train was to start from Yeshvanthpur
and reach Heelalige, a picturesque little station (reminiscent of R K Narayan’s Malgudi Days), very close to Electronic City which houses some of the largest IT campuses in the city. Enroute lay Manyata Tech Park near Hebbal, RMZ and other IT parks near Bellandur, the RG Tech Park, the Wipro Headquarters and the New Infosys campus near Carmelaram Station before reaching its destination.
The 34-kilometre journey would take about 40 minutes and cost me just Rs 10.
However, because of a mix up at the metro station, I realised I was going to miss the suburban train by a minute. I was not going to make to Yeshvanthpur, so I got off at the Sandal Soap Factory and boarded an auto from there to try and reach the next station at Hebbal. Meanwhile, my friends on the train were sending me a blow-by-blow update about the where, what and how of the yatra so I could report it, but my first priority was was to catch that train.
At this point, Google maps told me I had a two-minute window between my arrival and the train’s at the Hebbal station. I crossed my fingers and prayed my auto driver would channel his inner Michael Schumacher and get me over the finish line. He quickly cured me of my optimism. “Madam you need a helicopter today,” he said. And he was right.
The Bangalore Traffic Police tweeted the start of white topping on ORR from Hebbal Circle to Nagavara Junction and warned users to opt for alternative roads. Friday was a disaster for those travelling from Sarjapur and HSR Layout into the city through BTM Layout. Those who chose not to heed the warning spent a better part of the weekend stranded in bumper to bumper to traffic.
The junction near Esteem Mall was a disaster worse than ever. I missed the train again because it had covered the the distance between Yeshwanthpur and Hebbal in less than ten minutes while I was still trying to make it past the Mekhri Junction! But the optimist in me refused to give up and I decided to try and make it to Banaswadi (which the train would reach in about 8 minutes).
My auto driver sniggered at the foolishness and asked me to check the map again. It read 26 minutes to Banaswadi. We were at the Esteem Mall junction by then. So I checked how long it would take me to reach the last station – Heelalige. If I could just reach somewhere and meet them.  The time shown was 1 hour and 24 minutes. There was no point. I would not make in time and decided to return home in South Bangalore. As I inched back through that traffic (it did not help matters with my friends sending me videos of them zipping past us stuck in traffic), I got down to researching a few figures.
Just a few days earlier, the Centre for Science and Environment had released a report on Urban Commute that analysed the topic for 14 cities. Bangalore had the fourth largest population among the cities that were looked at. The mode share in the city is almost equal between public transport (42%) and two-wheelers (38%). Cars account for less than 10%. Bangalore has the longest average trip lengths in a car after Chennai and Mumbai. Cars which constitute less than 10% of vehicles on the road, travel longer distances within the city. Which also means that those travelling by private transport spend some of the longest times inhaling toxic fumes.
Another report by MoveIn Sync, which looks at time taken by Bangaloreans, shows that in comparison to last year, Bangaloreans have added six minutes to their travel time every day. That adds up to 2.5 hours a month, with the worst-hit stretch being Outer Ring Road.
All those figures made a lot of sense suddenly. Had I managed to catch the train, I wouldn’t be inhaling toxic fumes with particle emissions, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide and would have reached my destination in less than 40 minutes. It took me about an hour and half in an auto and cost me Rs 350 to get home finally, after an aborted journey!
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