Bengaluru roundup: Centre to fund 20% of suburban rail; 25M passengers at KIAL

Lunar eclipse, budget announcement of suburban railway, start up investments and more headlines, that concerned Bengaluru for the last week.

Union Budget mentions Bengaluru Suburban Rail:  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in the Union Budget that Bengaluru suburban network could spring up at a cost of ₹17,000 crore. It had agreed to invest about 20% of the total expenses, with ₹1,745 crore in two years. State government will invest another 20%, and the rest needs to be funded through loans.

The rail project will be partly elevated inside the core areas of the city. Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao agreed that the project can take off when both the State and the Centre contribute 20% of the cost.  They both have to work out the land hurdles for executing it, he said. (The Hindu)

Lunar eclipse: On January 31, the lunar eclipse saw a celestial triple whammy in the sky, with a red lunar eclipse, a Full Moon, Blue Moon and Super Moon that hit the world after 150 years. However, many families were closeted inside their homes. Due to beliefs that pressurised people to stay inside and forbade them from coming out in the open or even eat during the eclipse, the roads and streets of the city wore a deserted look. (The Hindu)

Start-up tech hub: Bengaluru is the new tech start-up hub. In the tussle between Bengaluru and Delhi NCR, it was the latter that always won the battle for the top slot in 2015 and 2016. However, last year was namma ooru year. Due to the support of the state government as well as many startup-centric programmes, Bengaluru got ranked first in the funding charts with a whopping number of 366 deals and $7.5b funding. (inc42.com)

Bellandur’s second fire break-out: When Bellandur lake caught fire last Thursday, it was just a fortnight after the first one had 5,000 army men and firefighters rushing to put it out. The reason for it was the same: a 1,000-acre stretch of the lake contaminated with severe pollutants and froth that went up in flames. Even though the fire department sent a couple of fire tenders, they could not put it out immediately, but battled with it till 7 p.m. (Scroll)

More than 25 million in airport: There were more than 25 million passengers at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in the city last year, according to its operator BIAL. Hence, with a 13% annual growth, the air traffic expanded by 4.3%, explained its operator, Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL). (The News Minute)

Remembering Gauri: January 29 would have been Gauri Lankesh’s 56th birthday. To mourn her death and honour her memory, a special team of supporters gathered in Town Hall. (Bangalore Mirror)

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