Bangalore International Centre had arranged a panel discussion on “Connecting the dots- Is commuter rail the missing link in Bangalore’s urban plan?” on Thursday, 24th March, 2016 at 6.30 PM at its Auditorium. The panellists present were Dr. T G Sitharam and Mr. Sathya Sankaran. The discussion was chaired and moderated by Dr. Ashwin Mahesh.
The panellists pleaded that Bengaluru’s transformation from a pensioner's paradise to a Science and IT centre has made it one of Asia's fastest growing cities, but sadly its transportation needs have been inadequately met. Bengaluru has 400 kms of existing railway lines, criss crossing the city, that carries long distance trains in and out, with a terminus in the heart of the trading district. This rail network runs through the city and connects not just the suburbs to the city, but many towns on its periphery. Towns that have the potential to provide cheaper housing for Bengaluru's work force, if there was fast, efficient public transport thereby taking the pressure off Bengaluru's depleting resources.
Both the panellists and the chairperson stressed the importance of commuter rail service in and around Bangalore. This will help the working people to shift their residences to a far away place like Tumkur, Chickaballapur, Kolar etc., and they can commute to Bengaluru for work. This will ease the traffic position in Bengaluru to a considerable extent. They informed that already there is a train route of about 440 kms in and around the city of Bengaluru. The Railway Department can make use of these lines without any extra cost.
Prof. Rajeev Gowda, MP, who was also present also agreed with these points.
The Q & A session was educative.