Mangalore MP writes to the Minister listing out demands

With Mallikarjun Kharge taking over as the Railway Minister, the activists and politicians and the traders’ body of the region hope that some of the long-pending proposals of the region would get the Ministry’s attention.

People have been demanding divisional headquarters at Mangalore and bringing it under the South Western Railway Zone (based at Hubli) from the Southern Railway Zone (headquartered at Palakkad); construction of additional platforms at Mangalore Central, implementation of the three-year-old announcement on converting Mangalore into a ‘world-class railway station’, upgrading Mangalore Junction; doubling of Konkan-Railway track and additional fast night passenger between Mangalore and Bangalore.

Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, has already written to Mr. Kharge seeking implementation of many of these demands.

The issues raised by Mr. Kateel also include: making Karwar-Yeshwanthpur a daily train instead thrice a week, better facilities at Subramanya station, arrival of Chervatur-Mangalore Passenger train (No. 56661) in Mangalore Central station at 8.30 a.m.; extension of passenger train to Puttur to Subramanya, doubling of tracks between Mangalore and Subramanya, building second platform and roof at Bantwal Station and development of Kabakaputtur as model station. He has pointed out that some media reports indicated that there were efforts to divert the weekly train between Mangalore and Bangalore announced in 2013-14 to run via Kannur and Selam instead of Arasikere. (Activists allege that Kerala and Tamil Nadu railway lobby was behind such moves).

Mr. Kateel has warned the Minister that any such move would be resisted.

District in-charge Minister Ramanath Rai said he would bring pressure on Mr. Kharge about “several issues” pertaining to the Railways.

West Coast Rail Yathri Development Committee Chairman Hanumanth Kamath hoped that longstanding demands would get attention now that Mr. Kharge has been put in charge of the ministry. He said efforts are on to get in touch with him so that a delegation of activists is taken to either Delhi or meet him during his next visit to the State. Mr. Kamath said action had not been initiated three years after the then Railway Minister announced that Mangalore Central would be made a world-class railway station. Other improvements in the two stations of the city have also been ignored.

G.G. Mohandas Prabhu, who heads the sub-committee of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Railways and represents the chamber in Palakkad Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee, said a memorandum to be submitted to Mr. Kharge is being drafted highlighting various demands.

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