People in the three coastal districts of the State are disappointed by the proposals in the Railway Budget presented by Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday.
Among the demands of people of the region were survey for a railway line between Talaguppa and Honnavar, rail connectivity to Karwar from Bangalore, improvement of connectivity to Mumbai from Mangalore and connectivity to places such as Hubli, Gadag and Bijapur.
“We were hoping for an announcement on a train from Karwar to Bangalore,” said Rajeev Gaonkar Hiregutti, Karwar-based activist and office-bearer of the West Coast Rail Yatri Development Committee. Had the Yeshwantpur-Arsikere-Mangalore train been extended to Karwar, it would have benefited a large number of people, he said.
The demand for survey for the 53-km rail line from Talaguppa to Honnavar was also not met. “The Railway Minister has totally let down the people of coastal Karnataka,” said R.L. Dias, president of Udupi-based Railway Yatri Sangha.
Mr. Dias was part of a delegation that went to New Delhi to impress upon the Railway Ministry to extend the Mumbai-Karwar train up to Mangalore and the Yeshwantpur-Mangalore train up to Karwar.
“Our representatives have failed us,” he said.
The new Mangalore-Tiruchirappalli Express weekly train and announcement on making 6605/6606 Mangalore-Kochuveli-Ernad Express a daily service were not among the demands put forth by people of the region.
President of the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry Srinivas Kamath, who also expressed disappointment over the region being ignored in the Railway Budget, said the announcement on survey for Mysore-Madikeri-Mangalore railway line made little sense. He said that the project might not be implemented at all as the line had to pass through the Western Ghats.
Mr. Kamath expressed happiness over passenger fares and freight rates not being increased.
The budget proposes survey for Padubidri-Karkala-Belthangady-Dharmasthala-Nettane railway line, and Byndoor-Kollur-Halady-Hebri-Karkal-Moodbidri-Venoor-Belthangady- Dharmasthala-Nettane line.