#ChukuBukuBeku: Citizens of Bengaluru to go on a Rail Yatra

Citizens for Bengaluru, the collective that led the #SteelFlyoverBeda requests all Bengalureans to join the rail yatra from Cantonment to Whitefield on Saturday at 9AM to create awareness about local trains and demand Government to prioritise the suburban rail system that has been pending for decades.

Prakash Belawadi, member of CfB said: “Bengaluru is over-polluted and unless we act now we will lose our city. Traffic is our biggest concern and mass public transport has to be the top priority and not flyovers. We request the presence of all city legislators, MLAs, MPs, Corporators to join us in the rail yatra.”

Srinivas Alavilli, member of CfB, said: ‘In the past 10 days we reached out to thousands of students, employees, construction workers, fruit and vegetable traders, various civic groups, organized freeze mobs across the city to create awareness about local train and asked them to take a short survey. More than 95% of Bengalureans believe local train is much needed and they will use it if it is made available – 90% of them believe that lack of political will is the main reason why Bengaluru doesn’t have a suburban rail service. The local train will be a lifeline for lakhs of ordinary citizens that struggle through our traffic every day for their livelihood. Traffic affects livelihood for the poorest of our society. We are grateful that so many organizations have lent their support this campaign and joining us on the rail yatra.”

Tara Krishnaswamy, member of CfB, said: “the #ChukuBukubeku campaign has already shown some initial positives for the people of Bengaluru. Heightened public awareness, media coverage, MLAs and MPs supporting, as you can see from Rajeev Gowda’s conversation with minister K J George and his assurances. Yet again, we see the centre and state neither coming forward to own up the pro-poor, pro-development, pro-Bengaluru agenda for local trains. Congress has an election to face in 2018 and delivering at least key sectors of local trains will send a strong message of caring for the ordinary and poor people of Bengaluru instead of the VVIP oriented steel flyover and elevated corridor.”

President of City District Federation of Fruits and Vegetables Wholesale Traders’ Association R V Gopi joined the Citizens for Bengaluru’s campaign for local train and believes local train will be extremely useful. Gopi will join the rail yatra to show solidarity.

Pratap and Shivananda, residents of B Narayanapura near K R Puram station, represent the voice of many daily wage workers in the construction industry. Having experienced the local train service in Mumbai, they are unable to understand why there is no such thing in Bengaluru. Traffic delays cause loss of income for them despite paying through their nose for bus and they are joining CfB in this rail yatra at KR Puram station.

KR Puram Rising, an active citizen group working on lakes, garbage management and improving government schools declared support for the campaign and will join the rail yatra in large numbers at the KR Puram station. Purushottam of KR Puram Rising said, ‘back in 2002, we did a signature campaign (1lakh signatures) to get the KR Puram hanging bridge as we believed at that time, it will solve our issues. We now know, it is a big failure and flyovers are not the answer. We have been working on train connectivity from KR Puram and we believe commuter rail must be top priority for our city”

“Whitefield Rising (WR) fully supports campaign, initiated by ‘Citizens for Bengaluru’ (CfB) for suburban train services”, said Anjali Saini of WR Rising. Whitefield residents will be at the Hoodi and Whitefield stations on 17th in full strength to show our solidarity with the cause. WR has been actively highlighting the urgent need for rail connectivity due to the impending Namma Metro work in BBMP’s Mahadevapura Zone. We actively campaigned for Hoodi halt station. There  is a need for a comprehensive and multi-modal transport solution as we are bursting at the seams. The state government needs to execute on the ground.

The CfB event, supported by celebrity musician Raghu Dixit calls for public to throng the Cantonment (9AM) Bangalore East (9.10AM), Byappanahalli (9.15AM), KR Puram (9.20AM), Hoodi (9.30AM) and Whitefield (10AM) stations on Saturday Dec 17th. We board the Bangarpet passenger. More details are at http://bit.ly/dec17cfb

Bengaluru Suburban Passengers Association, CAF, CiFOS (15 RWAs in Sanjay Nagar), Praja RAAG, CiFOS, Students of Mount Carmel College, Youth group ‘Bengalis in Bengaluru’ and several organizations are joining the yatra in solidarity for the cause.

On behalf of Citizens For Bengaluru (CfB)

Prakash Belawadi, Naresh Narasimhan, Srinivas Alavilli, Tara Krishnaswamy, Priya Chetty Rajagopal.

Web page: http://citizensforbengaluru.in Event page: http://bit.ly/dec17cfb

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About Srinivas Alavilli 24 Articles
Srinivas Alavilli is a citizen activist based in Bengaluru, working on a variety of issues. He is the co-founder of Citizens for Bengaluru, and is currently Fellow at WRI India.