The civic group Citizens for Citizens (C4C) has written to the Ministry of Railways, Railway Board, and South Western Railway (SWR) requesting them to explore the possibility of operating more local trains in and around Bengaluru so that citizens have more options for public transport.

Rajkumar Dugar, founder and convener, C4C, said: “We do not know when the railways will start its operations. Once they start, long and medium distance trains may see a dip resulting in under-utilisation of existing infrastructure, but running more trains during peak hours in and around the city can be planned,” he said.

Urging elected representatives to take up the issue with the Railway Minister, Mr. Dugar said routes like Tumakuru-Hosur, Ramanagaram-Bangarpet, Cantonment-Devanahalli which cross various stations across the city could be increased or more coaches can be added. He also sought additional trains or extended services to IT Corridors like K.R. Puram, Hoodi, Kadugodi and Whitefield Stations.

Transport expert Sanjeev Dyamannavar said if passengers follow social distancing, suburban train could ease the pressure on BMTC buses which are currently operational. “With various major infrastructure projects getting completed like doubling, electrification and with a good number of MEMU rakes available, the SWR should plan running 16 coach MEMU trains in all directions,” he said.

He added that the SWR should use this opportunity to come out with revised schedules like extending Mysuru and Tumakuru-bound trains towards different parts to the city to avoid people interchanging at one station.

A senior official in the SWR said that to run more trips or to operate extra trains, they need clearance from the Railway Ministry and the Railway Board.

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