Failure of authorities to widen the narrow Naguri-Mangalore Junction Road (officially known as Kankanady Railway Station 1 Cross Road), lack of cleanliness and poor electric maintenance of local trains were some of the problems highlighted by commuter organisations at a meeting to review the progress of railway projects held here on Monday.

The tri-monthly review meeting was conducted by Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel.

West Coast Rail Yathri Develoment Committee President G. Hanumanth Kamath sought to know why the authorities had not shown interest in the long pending demand to widen road linking the Mangalore Junction though much of the land to be acquired was vacant. Only a couple of houses may have to be demolished for its widening.

Deputy Chairman of Legislative Assembly N. Yogish Bhat agreed that widening this road would hardly require any rehabilitation. The authorities could give transferrable development rights to the land losers and go ahead with the project. He said the project was under active consideration of the Corporation and added that it has to be hastened. Mr. Kamath said this road would shorten the distance to the railway station by 2 km.

Railway authorities agreed to include Kannada instead of Malayalam in the three-language name plates on the Matsagandha Express between Mangalore and Mumbai. Sudarshan Puttur, President of Kukke Subramanaya-Mangalore Rail Commuters’ Forum, Puttur, said passenger trains lacked cleanliness and electrical maintenance. The drains by tracks in Mangalore Central and Mangalore Junction stations remained unclean.

Projects

Earlier Bangalore City Corporation officials promised to submit estimation of the cost for the road under bridge at the level crossing at Bajal-Padil Road near Mangalore Junction station by Tuesday. The meeting decided to get an early survey to decide the nature of bridge to be constructed at Mahakalipadpu near Jeppu.

The meeting was informed that tender has already been called for construction of bridges at Baikampady, B.C. Road and at Padil as part of the projects of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Railway authorities promised to hasten the project to build a railway under bridge at Jeppu-Kutpadi. A survey has already been completed and final estimates would be prepared as soon as approval is secured for it, said Nalla Muthumanickam, Railway Divisional Engineer for Palakkad division.

He said the proposal to add two more platforms at Mangalore Central Railway Station had not received approval in the latest railway budget. However his division was proposing their inclusion in the next budget.

Senior Divisional Engineer for Mysore Division C.M. Ranganath said a grant of Rs. 2 crore was expected for Kabaka Puttur for its development as Model Railway Station. Extension of platforms, improved building and providing adequate toilets were part of the project.

Mr. Kateel, who expressed ire over the Corporation authorities’ failure to follow up the railway projects, hoped that the district administration would quickly identify the place where an additional passenger reservation system can be started in the city. He hoped that the meeting would result in the projects picking up speed.

He said he would not allow disruption of bus facilities arranged at the instance of Chief Minister D.V. Sadannada Gowda at Subrahmanya Road station. EOM

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