The Railway Yatri Sangha, Udupi, has sought an alternative railway line from Nandikur to Hassan via Karkala, Ujire and Charmady Ghat.

If it becomes a reality, it will enhance connectivity of coastal districts to the State capital.

The sangha has written to Union Minister for Corporate Affairs M. Veerappa Moily after learning that he had held a meeting with railway officials in New Delhi on his proposals for Padubidri-Karkala-Ujire-Nettana line and Byndoor-Kollur-Karkala-Venoor-Ujire line.

Thanking Mr. Moily for the initiative, sangha president R.L. Dias said that instead of these lines, a new railway line should be laid to link Nandikur station on Konkan Railway line with Hale Moodigere via Charmady Ghat.

As another new line was being laid to link Chikmagalur with the existing Mangalore-Bangalore line, the region would get an additional line to Bangalore.

Mr. Dias said that only a few km of this 150-km line passed through the reserve forests. Hence, only a few trees had to be cut when compared to the two other proposed lines.

About 7 km of the line suggested by the sangha passed through the reserve forests and a tunnel could be built here to minimise damage to the Western Ghats. He said that the line from Nandikur could run parallel to the State highway through Karkala, Bajagoli-Naravi-Aladangady and Ujire. From here, the line may be taken to Nidgal, Mundaje, Charmady, Neria Hebbar Estate, Yenepoya Estate, Malekudiaya Estate and continue further through the valley between the two hills to reach the base of the Somankad bridge from where two or three tunnels would take the line to Kottigehara and further to Banakal and Hale Moodigere. Further, it could be connected with the line under construction to connect Chikmagalur with the existing Hassan-Mangalore railway line. “This will create an alternative line to Bangalore for the coastal people,” he said.

In addition, from Ujire, a split line could be laid to Dharmasthala and further to Nettana for the benefit of pilgrims visiting Dharmasthala and Subramanya temple, Mr. Dias said.

He said the lines proposed by the Minister passed through thick forests and may not get forest clearance as had been the case with Hubli-Ankola railway line.

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