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Updated: February 26, 2011 17:00 IST

Mixed reaction to rail budget

Govind D. Belgaumkar
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Extension of Yeshwanthpur-Mangalore train to Karwar welcomed

Railway budget for 2011-12 has six announcements relating to coastal Karnataka.

People have given mixed reaction to the proposals.

Coastal Karnataka, which nursed a wound ever since Yeshwanthpur-Mangalore night train was extended to Kannur, got some relief in the budget though the proposal to extend the day train (16515/16516) to Karwar, has not satisfied all.

R.L. Dais of Udupi Yatri Sangha, which recently organised a rail-roko to press for the demand, expressed happiness about this announcement.

Rajeev Gaonkar Hiregutti, Karwar-based activist and office-bearer of West Coast Rail Yathri Development Committee, is not excited.

He said people had been seeking extension of the night train from Yeshwanthpur to Karwar.

The train had been extended to Kannur. Mr. Gaonkar pointed out that this train was originally proposed to be extended to Karwar by the inter-zonal railway timetable conference, but subsequently the Railways let the people down by extending it to Kannur. (Railway activists have petitioned the Karnataka High Court in this regard.)

He said the fight for extension of this train to Karwar instead of Kannur would continue.

Mr. Gaonkar pointed out that the train when extended would reach Karwar late in the day and proceed towards Bangalore at odd hours. The train from Yeshwanthpur would reach Mangalore at 5.55 p.m. and might need about six hours to reach Karwar. To be able to leave here at the present time of 8.45 a.m., it may have to leave Karwar at 3 a.m., he said.

Another demand met by the Railways Minister is that of a direct train to Howra from here.

President of the Kanara Chamber of Commerce an Industry G.G. Mohandas Prabhu welcomed it but pointed out that the trade body had sought its operation via Arsikere, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

This would have ensured greater movement of workers from the two States, who were necessary for the projects such as general purpose multi-product SEZ.

He pointed out that the train would take an additional 24 hours to reach Howra as it had to move southward up to Palakkad before turning towards its destination.

He observed that the demand for increasing frequency of the day train from Yeshwanthpur to the city had not been considered as also the demand for additional night train to the State capital.

Mangalore-based trader and keen follower of rail-related activities Aravind Baladev expressed happiness that the people had got two more trains to commute to and from coastal towns of Porbander and Bhavnagar in Gujarat.

A substantial number of areca traders in the city hail from Gujarat.

The new Mangalore–Palghat Intercity Express (daily) is expected to help people travelling to and from Kerala, particularly to destinations such as Kasargod and Kannur.

The increase in frequency of Mumbai CST-Mangalore Express from three days to daily (train 12133/12134) is expected to benefit those visiting the country's financial capital.


Commuters still waiting for good services December 28, 2012

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