Interview with Dr. Manjula N., Managing Director, K-RIDE Bengaluru

MRT Online Desk Posted on: 2024-01-11 07:10:00 Viewer: 1,235 Comments: 0 Country: India City: Bengaluru

Interview with Dr. Manjula N., Managing Director, K-RIDE Bengaluru

Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (BSRP) is a key initiative to improve the city's transportation infrastructure. The network will link Bengaluru with its suburbs, aiming to enhance the commuter rail network of the city and it would help resolve traffic congestion issues by providing a reliable, efficient, and affordable mode of transportation for commuters traveling to and from the city's suburbs. BSRP will provide for an environment-friendly and cost-effective metro rail-based mass rapid transport system in the city of Bengaluru.

This important BSRP project is being led by Dr. Manjula N, who has been recently appointed as in-charge Managing Director (MD) of Rail Infrastructure Development Company Karnataka Limited (K-RIDE). Metro Rail Today brings you an exclusive interview with Dr. Manjula N. MD. K-RIDE to understand her vision and ideas for BSRP.

Hon'ble Minister of IDD, Dr. M B Patil, in his recent inter- actions with citizen stakeholders stated that, "The BSRP will be a game changer for the state of Karnataka". What is your opinion about it?

Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (BSRP) purpose is to connect rural and urban areas, central areas to outskirts via four corridors. It aims to provide safe, accessible, and comfortable public transportation in Bengaluru city by creating a dedicated Suburban Railway system. It will help reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and provide better access to other areas in the city. It will also create job opportunities, stimulate economic growth, improve the quality of life for citizens and bring about positive change in the region. In the next few years, more than 9.84 lakhs of rural and urban residents are expected to benefit from this project. There is no doubt that BSRP is a game changer for state of Karnataka.

A tripartite agreement was recently inked and loan agreement was signed with KfW development bank by BSRP. How would this agreement be beneficial for BSRP? What is its purpose?

The tripartite agreement is not only a significant milestone for BSRP, but also a strategic development that demonstrates the collaborative efforts of the Karnataka government, the Ministry of Railways and K-RIDE in realizing the vision of Suburban Rail in Bengaluru. I would say that this agreement has streamlined the progress of the project as the three entities have re- corded their understandings, commitments, obligations, covenants and their interfaces. This ensures that the project is executed within the stipulated time frame and mitigates the risk of delays. The agreement was also crucial for the external funding process. Soon after the signing of this agreement we have been successful in executing loan agreement with German Bank KfW, for Euro 500 million. The funding will make possible tenders for Corridor 1 & 3 and system tenders of BSRP.

What are the major challenges, issues you see in BSRP?

BSRP is a multi-stakeholders project, including government agencies- central, state and local govt, international funding agencies, organizations like BESCOM, KPTCL, BWSSB and citizen groups. Ensuring effective coordination and communication between these groups is a significant challenge. Regular meetings, reviews should be held to keep track of progress and address any bottlenecks. Once land transfer, funds, other approvals with higher authorities is finalized, the project can progress with needful team monitoring.

How different will BSRP be compared to other mobility projects? Are there any major innovations /advanced technologies deployed in BSRP?

BSRP is the first project sanctioned under the New National Suburban Policy 2018 of the Govt of India. Among other things, the sanctioned DPR provides for train operations on a highly reliable signaling system known as Communication Based Train Control (CBTC). All CBTC system are equipped with The Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system which is a safety measure implemented in BSRP trains to ensure the safety of passengers and prevent accidents. It works by constantly monitoring the train's location and speed, and automatically applying the brakes if necessary to avoid collisions or other hazards. CBTC System provides the three important features namely

  • ATP (Automatic Train Protection), to ensure SIL-4 (Safety Integrity Level) fail-safe operation of trains in terms of speed control, braking and stopping in all kinds of situations.
  • ATO (Automatic Train Operation), to support the Train operators and loco pilots by means of speed regulation, Coasting and dwelling of the trains throughout the journey &
  • ATS (Automatic Train Supervision), to continuously monitor and control the train schedules as per passenger density and to optimize railway operations and service reliability.

On the whole BSRP trains equipped with CBTC technology will make rail travel more convenient saving time and reducing stress levels. The introduction of modern coaches and amenities such as air conditioning and onboard WiFi will also provide more comfort to the passengers.

What are the key observations and highlights of Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Railways during recent review meeting and inspection of BSRP.

Hon'ble Minister highlighted that the Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (BSRP) was a very crucial project for Bengaluru. Whatever needs to be done, we should do it with full emphasis and full focus to implement this project effectively. He instructed South Western Railways (SWR) to provide technical assistance to K-RIDE, the nodal agency for implementation of 148km Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (BSRP). He assured that the project will be a great success and will benefit the people of Bengaluru and all the necessary steps will be taken to ensure its timely completion.


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