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Sampige railway corridor project delay leaves Bengaluru commuters frustrated

The Sampige railway corridor project in Bengaluru faces delays despite central government priority. It aims to ease traffic to the airport, crucial due to rising passenger numbers. Delays are attributed to governance issues and land acquisition challenges. Citizens and experts advocate for its speedy completion to enhance commuting in Bengaluru.

Sampige railway corridor project delay leaves Bengaluru commuters frustrated vkp
First Published Oct 25, 2023, 9:29 AM IST

The Sampige railway corridor project in Bengaluru is facing significant delays, raising concerns among transport experts and commuters. This corridor, connecting the Majestic to the Airport, remains at the tendering stage, despite being prioritised by the central government. 

Initially, the central government had highlighted the importance of the Sampige Corridor, intending for it to be completed in just three years. In contrast, the other corridors were granted six years for completion.

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In 2021, the state's Directorate of Urban Land Transport stressed the need to prioritize the Sampige Corridor in a study report submitted to the Urban Development Department. However, the state government initiated work on the 'Mallige' corridor from Baiyappanahalli to Chikkabanavar, leading to concerns among urban transport experts about the slow progress of the Sampige route.

The Sampige Corridor plays a crucial role in relieving traffic congestion to Kempegowda International Airport, which currently serves 1.50 lakh people daily. Airport authorities anticipate that this number will increase to 4-5 lakh passengers in the next few years, further straining the already congested roadways.

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The journey from Central Silk Board to the airport by road takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. Even with the completion of the blue metro line, it is estimated to take around one and a half hours to reach the airport. However, experts argue that the Sampige Corridor, starting from Bengaluru Central, could potentially reduce travel time to just one hour.

The suburban railway project covers central, eastern, and northern parts of the city, with an extension up to Devanahalli, benefiting residents in that area. Given the projected growth around the airport, there's a growing need for additional transport connections in the region.

Several factors contributed to the project's delays, including the absence of a full-time managing director and insufficient government oversight. Additionally, challenges related to land acquisition have hindered progress. Experts recommend addressing these issues and fast-tracking work on the Lottegollanahalli-Yeshavantpura-Majestic elevated road, a critical component of the Sampige Corridor.

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The Sampige Corridor, the first of the Sub Urban Railway corridors, spans 41.4 kilometres and is estimated to cost ₹5060 crore for construction. It includes various stations, both elevated and at grade level, serving areas like KSR Bengaluru, Srirampur, Malleswaram, Yeshvantpur, Lottegollanahalli, and more. Experts suggest prioritizing grade-level work from Yeshavantpura to Lottegollanahalli, without waiting for land acquisition to conclude.

The project's original timeline aims for completion within three years. Citizens and transport experts, including Rajkumar Dugar of 'Citizen for Citizens,' urge the state government to prioritise the Sampige Corridor and expedite the project to improve commuting for Bengaluru residents.

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