INDIA: A station was opened on January 4 to serve Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport.
First proposed to the Karnataka state government in 2014, the station has been built by airport authority BIAL on Indian Railways’ existing Yeshwantpura – Devanahalli – Chickballapura suburban line, which skirts the northwestern corner of the airport complex. It has a 230 m long platform on the single-track line, as well as a booking office, waiting area and accessible toilet facilities.
Located around 4·5 km from the main terminal, the station is connected to the airport campus by a BIAL-operated shuttle bus. According to the operator, the operation and frequency of the shuttle service will be synchronised with train timings; IR and BIAL are jointly reviewing the timetable and looking at the introduction of extra trains at peak times for both flights and working hours at the airport.
The service is initially expected to offer a ‘fast and economical commuting option’ for many of the 25 000 staff employed around the airport, but BIAL anticipates that the rail link will also ‘gain acceptance among air travellers’.
In keeping with its commitment to sustainability, BIAL has commissioned a large mural at the Airport Halt to celebrate Indian Dance.
Entitled Many Beats, One Dance, the mural has been crafted by members of FICCI FLO from Bengaluru, led by FLO Chair Jyotika Kapoor, an established muralist. About 50 people worked through the coronavirus pandemic to create six murals depicting Indian Dance forms such as Kathakali with expressions, hand mudras and foot movements, using decoupaged newspapers, mango crates and waste material including tiles.