Alarmed by the reported attempts by the MPs from Kerala to form a new railway zone headquartered at Thiruvananthapuram, the associations of commuters in the costal Karnataka are planning to put pressure on MPs from this region to seek merger of Mangalore with the Mysore division.
The associations have learnt that the Kerala MPs have submitted a proposal to the Railway Board demanding that Mangalore, Konkan Railway line, up to Madgaon and Hassan sections, should be part of the new zone at Thiruvananthapuram.
The Kerala MPs have also sought the formation of a division with Mangalore as headquarters, with jurisdiction up to Madgaon and Hassan. The railway line from Thokur near here to Madgaon is presently part of the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd., (KRCL), while Hassan is part of the Mysore division of South-Western Railway, headquartered at Hubli. Mangalore is presently part of the Palakkad division of Southern Railway.
“We want our MPs to fight for merger of Mangalore with Mysore division,” said Anil Hegde, convener of the West Coast Rail Yathri Development Committee. This merger would ensure that a majority of the railway network in Karnataka remains with one zone, headquartered in the State.
“Even though we feel proud to have Mangalore division, once it is formed, it will be merged with the proposed Thiruvanathapuram zone,” said R.L. Dias, president of the Railway Yatri Sangha in Udupi through a note to The Hindu.
Mr. Hegde and Mr. Dias favoured retaining the KRCL as a separate entity, as it was maintaining its stations very well.
Mr. Hegde said that efforts were on to merge it with the Indian Railways, which should not be allowed to happen.