Monday, 14 Aug, 2.03 am

Bangalore
Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield suburban rail from Aug 18

As civil works for a metro line between Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield are set to choke traffic further, Railways is preparing to operate suburban service on the route from August 18.

The much-anticipated Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield line, Reach 1 of Namma Metro's Phase 2 project, involves taking up works on road which sees heavy traffic. The road-widening work has already affected the traffic as several stretches of the road have turned into bottlenecks.

In its recent meeting, the Whitefield Area Commerce and Industries Association (WACIA) had urged the Railways to start a suburban service to Baiyappanahalli to help commuters.

Member of Parliament P C Mohan had also written to the Railway minister urging him to "start a suburban rail between Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield at the earliest."

Three trains
"From August 18, three MEMU trains will run on this route. The railway officials will publish the timetable soon," Mohan said. Thousands of people employed in various industries in Hoodi, Whitefield, and the surrounding areas, can reach their workplaces at the earliest.

"Travelling between Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield on train is a 15-minute affair. One has to spend at least an hour on the road to travel the same distance," said T P Lokesh, convenor, Karnataka Railway Vedike.

Noting that traffic congestion has increased in KR Puram, Hoodi Junction and Hope Farm, due to Metro construction work, he said, commuting on the Whitefield Main Road has become a huge challenge over the last few weeks.

"Hoodi and KR Puram are two key stations between Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield. The trains stop at Diesel Loco Shed and Railway Power Station. Though these are not designated stoppages, commuters can get down here to reach nearby workplaces," railway activist K N Krishnaprasad said.

Suhas Narayanamurthy, Software Developer: The KR Puram-Whitefield stretch sees heavy traffic congestion every day. Crossing this stretch and reaching Whitefield is a big challenge. The suburban rail will be a huge hit as it will save commuters from traffic snarls.

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