Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa said here on Friday that it will take at least six months for the tri-weekly Mangalore-Yeshwanthpur day train to be operated ever day. This is because the Railways will have to lay four more railway tracks at Siribagilu station between Sakleshpur and Mangalore for stationing of trains there.
Addressing presspersons, the Minister said that as goods trains plied between Mangalore and Sakleshpur, provision had to be made for stationing them at Siribagilu on the Shiradi Ghat section in case of an emergency or whenever needed. Laying of tracks at the station would take at least six months. The day train could be operated on a daily basis only later.
The Minister said the doubling of track between Shoranoor (Kerala) and Mangalore would be completed by March, 2010. Officials concerned had promised him that work on the railway bridge across the Nethravathi on the Shoranoor-Mangalore stretch would also be completed by March.
Mr. Muniyappa said he would convene a meeting in Bangalore either in the third or fourth week of September to discuss work on railway overpasses and railway underpasses to be taken up in Karnataka. The meeting would discuss issues such as land acquisition in this regard.
To a question whether the railways was planning to make Mangalore (now under Southern Railway) a separate division under the South Western Railway (SWR) or bring it under the jurisdiction of SWR without making it a division, the Minister said: “Development will take place on its own course.” He said the Indian Railways was for everybody, and not for any particular State or zone.
Asked whether the night train between Yeshwanthpur and Mangalore would be extended up to Kannur (in Kerala), the Minister said train services were for national welfare, but the Government would look into issues and concerns relating to the matter.
Mr. Muniyappa said the Railways would also examine whether the Mumbai-Karwar Super Fast train could be extended up to Mangalore. He said the Railways would take up seven new projects (laying of new tracks) in the State in association with the State Government. Matters such as fund-sharing were to be discussed. The State was one among the very few in the country which had agreed to share the costs of its railway projects, he added.
He said the Railways would also set up a medical college at Mysore which would be attached to the railway hospital.
B.P. Tayal, Director (Operations and Commercial), Konkan Railway Corporation Limited, said a new station would be set up at Nandikoor in Udupi district. The station at Byndoor in Udupi district would be upgraded with financial help from the State Government. The State had come forward to sanction Rs. 16 crore for upgrading the station, he added.