The Mangalore Central Station will be developed into a world-class station and a new plan was being proposed by the Railway officials, Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa said here on Friday.

After flagging-off the new intercity train between Mangalore Central and Palakkad, he said that a multi-storied building could come up on the available land.

He said the Palakkad Divisional Railway Manager S.K. Raina had come up with a new idea and this was under consideration. Mr. Raina would explain the details once the plan was given a final shape.

Mr. Raina said he would hold consultations with all the stake-holders in one or one-and-a-half months at the Deputy Commissioner's office in Mangalore.

Reservation facility

Mr. Raina said that there had been a proposal to open another passenger reservation counter in the heart of the city under the quota of the Member of Parliament. Initially, it had been decided to start it on the premises of the Deputy Commissioner's office but there were issues relating to its location, he said.

A new building to house the reservation counters would come up closer to the Railway Station entrance at a cost of Rs. 1.5 crore, Mr. Raina added.

Mr. Muniyappa said he would talk to the Union Minister of the State for Environment Jayanthi Natarajan regarding the pending environment clearance for the Talaguppa-Honnavar line, which passed through dense forest. The Hubli-Ankola line awaited environment clearance. The Railways were keen to implement these projects, he said.

On allegations that more trains were being run to Kerala than to other places in Karnataka from here, Mr. Muniyappa said that the Mumbai-Karwar train had been extended to Mangalore and the Yeshwanthpur-Mangalore train had been extended to Karwar to cater to the people of this region. He said the trains were skipping Mangalore Central because of “pressure” at this station. He said the so-called “trunk line” (providing circular connection to major destinations) in Karnataka would “automatically” happen when missing links got the railway line. This would ensure that people travelling to northern destinations could board trains at their nearest station instead of going to places like Bangalore as was the case now.

J.N. Jagannath, Assistant General Manager, Southern Railway, said the new intercity service would provide key connection to commuters from the region who wanted to travel from Palakkad to places such as Hoogli, Warangal, and Guwahati. The pairing train from Palakkad would connect passengers from Kerala to Mangalore-Mumbai Matsyagandha Express.

Protest

Palakkad Staff Correspondent reports:

M.B. Rajesh, Member of Parliament, has protested the flagging off of the new Mangalore-Palakkad Intercity Express in Mangalore, instead of Palakkad.

The new train was allotted to Kerala and running through the State mostly, he said.

In a statement in Palakkad on Thursday, Mr. Rajesh said this showed the neglect of the district by the Railways. He said “people's inauguration” would be organised in Palakkad junction on November 19.

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