Demand comes ahead of the railway budget to be presented on February 26
The West Coast Rail Yathri Development Committee has sought 10 new trains, extension of four services and increase in the frequency of three trains, besides various railway infrastructure improvements; while the people in Uttara Kannada hope for an announcement on the long-pending Hubli-Ankola railway line. The railway budget will be presented in Parliament on February 26.
The committee sought new express trains from here to Hyderabad (via Kannur, Salem, Bangalore as the route via Hassan is choked), Mumbai and Chennai (both Garib Rath services), Visakhapatnam (via Salem); passenger train to Vasco via Madgaon; and DMU service to Bhatkal.
The committee has urged the Railway Ministry to announce separate trains from Subrahmanya Road to Hubli, Pune and Ahmedabad (all via Mangalore, Udupi, and Madgaon).
It has sought the reintroduction of Mangalore Central-Miraj Mahalakshmi Express, to be extended up to Karwar (via Hassan, Arasikere, and Hubli). This service was withdrawn during broad-gauge conversion of the line over a decade ago, the Committee’s technical adviser Anil Hegde said.
Mr. Hegde said the Mangalore-Hyderabad train service figured at Inter Time Table conference held at Madgaon in January. On the other hand, he pointed out that Mangalore-Ahmedabad Summer special train service was well patronised and if it was introduced from Subrahmanya Road as a regular service it would be more useful to pilgrims visiting Subrahmanya from North India.
The committee has, in a statement, sought the extension of Yeshwanthpur-Kannur Express via Salem up to Mangalore Central, Mangalore-CSTM Mumbai Express up to Subrahmanya Road, Vasco-Patna-Howrah Express (via Madgaon, Londa) up to Mangalore Central and Yeshwanthpur-Salem Kannur Express up to Mangalore Central. It has sought an increase in the frequency of Karwar-Yeshvantpur train running during day time to run it daily instead of thrice a week; Mangalore-Jammu Thavi and Mangalore-Howrah (both tri-weekly instead of weekly). The committee has sought allocation of funds to make Mangalore Central a world-class station, completion of doubling of Kankanday-Mangalore Central and Nethravathi Bridge to Mangalore Central and expediting Kankandy-Panambur track doubling and electrification of Mysore-Hassan-Mangalore line, and constructing additional platforms at Mangalore Central.
Karwar-based vice-president of the committee Rajeev Gaonkar told The Hindu that people were waiting for the meeting of the long-pending demand for Hubli-Ankola new line in view of the new proposal under consideration. Union Minister for Micro and Small Industries K.H. Muniyappa had earlier, in his capacity as Minister of State for Railways, indicated that a proposal, which would require fewer acres of forestland for the project, had been mooted following a study undertaken by experts from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Mr. Gaonkar said in the absence of revenue generation point for Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. (KRCL), it was not in a position to offer more facilities to commuters in the Karwar sector. Hence, the New Mangalore Port should be brought under KRCL, he said. He hoped that a new Mangalore-Madgaon inter-city train would be announced in the railway budget.