BENGALURU: While the fate of the suburban rail network hangs in balance — being tossed around between the Centre and the State — the proposed Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the Rs 22,242-crore project is closer to reality. It will begin works related to the suburban system before another Detailed Project Report gets readied.K-RIDE (Karnataka Infrastructure Development Enterprise), a joint venture between the Centre and the State, had been tasked with setting up B-RIDE.
“The Railway Board has sent a letter saying its nod was not required to set up SPV while the state has got permission for it from both its law and finance departments. We are expecting a formal letter from the government shortly. When this comes through, B-RIDE can come into being through a formal process at the Registrar of Companies with an initial investment of Rs 2 crore,” said a highly placed source.
Asked about the relevance of such a body in face of the suburban project report itself not yet ready, a top source said five major projects totalling Rs 1,745 crore which has already been sanctioned for the project in January 2018 will be taken up by the SPV.
“Urban Development Department is set to introduce an amendment so that the Chief Administrative Officer, Constructions of South Western Railway, can take up five projects already sanctioned,” he said.
Among the works that are already sanctioned are the Rs 424 crore project between Baiyappanahalli and Hosur which comprises doubling, electric traction and automatic signalling; 21.7 km line (Chord Line) between Yesvantpur-Lottegahalli-Hebbal-Banaswadi-Baiyappanahalli-Channsandra at a cost of Rs 170 crore; automatic signalling between Baiyappanahalli-Yesvantpur-Tumukuru, Bengaluru-Mandya and Yesvantpur and Yelahanka for Rs 205 crore, conversion of 15 DEMU rakes to MEMU ones at Rs 56 crore and procurement of 11 MEMU rakes at a cost of Rs 400 crore.
At a high-level meet held at Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday, Additional Chief Secretary, UDD, Mahendra Jain has sent a note on the suburban project to the Chief Secretary which would be sent to the Deputy CM for this approval. Jain said, “It is our response to certain queries sent by the Railways.”
Project shelved, but RITES yet to be paid Rs 10 crore
The PMO recently decided to drop the suburban rail project submitted by Rail Infrastructure Technical and Engineering Services, a consultancy firm falling under Railways and call for a fresh DPR to be readied. RITES is yet to be paid ` 10 cr due to it for the report preparation. A source said, “RITES was to be paid 70% of its report cost when it submitted its report last year and the remainder when it submitted its report this year.” Chief Administrative Officer, Constructions, K C Swami said, “We are in the process of paying the sum and will do it very shortly.”