Government's wish list includes seven new trains

Ahead of Railway Budget 2012, expectations are high among the people of the State as they pin hopes on Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa and Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, who has a close rapport with Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, to fulfil many of their aspirations.

Also, the budget comes amid a perception that Mr. Muniyappa, who has been a Minister of State since 2009, could have done more for the State that has the least railway network among southern States.

Principal among people's expectations are expeditious doubling of Bangalore-Mysore line (between Channapatna and Mysore); speedy completion of Bangalore-Hassan line (between Nelamangala and Shravanabelagola); commuter rail for Bangalore city; creation of railway divisions in Mangalore and Gulbarga; introduction of new trains between important cities in Karnataka and extension of Yeshwantpur-Kannur night train to Karwar/ Madgaon.

Lokesh, a resident of Bangalore, demanded that the Ministry give priority to completion of the new line between Bangalore-Hassan, which was announced during H.D. Deve Gowda's tenure as Prime Minister. Mr. Sadananda Gowda has already forwarded the government's wish list to the Ministry demanding inclusion of seven new lines in the budget as well as doubling of Bangalore-Mangalore line. He said the State government had been equally sharing the costs of new projects as well as some ongoing projects and therefore the Ministry should give primacy to those projects.

The lines demanded are, Gadag-Haveri (80 km); Almatti-Yadgir via. Muddebihal (150 km); Almatti-Koppal via. Koodalasangama (124 km); Raichur-Bagalkot; Tumkur-Tiptur-Arsikere (missing patch doubling) and Bijapur-Athani-Shedbal.

The government is prompt in acquiring and handing over required lands for the projects, Mr. Sadananda Gowda pointed out that of the 2,493 acres of land, 2,293 acres had been handed over to the Railways.

Insisting that the Gadag-Wadi and Srinivasapura-Madanapalle new should be included in the budget, Mr. Gowda said Gadag-Wadi line would provide connectivity between Bangalore-Mumbai line and would link the Hyderabad-Mumbai line.

Chairman of Infrastructure Committee, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), Prakash Mandoth has urged Mr. Trivedi to sanction several new inter-city and inter-state trains, which are being demanded for long.

They include Bangalore-Chikmagalur (after completion of the track); Shimoga-Hospet; Hubli-Bidar; Arsikere-Bangalore; Sholapur-Gulbarga-Bangalore; Bangalore-Belgaum-Miraj; Bidar-Bangalore; Bangalore-Chitradurga; Bangalore-Hospet; Bangalore-Tirupati; Shimoga-Bangalore; Hubli-Guntakal and Mysore-Nanjangud.

Mr. Mandoth urged the Minister to sanction inter-state trains connecting different parts of Karnataka with the rest of the country such as Bangalore-Mumbai Duranto, Bangalore-Varanasi, Bangalore-Jammu, Yeshwantpur-Amritsar, Yeshwantpur-Dehra Dun, Hubli-Pune and trains from Bangalore to Bhopal, Rameswaram, Bhopal, Indore and Shirdi.

He also demanded introduction of new trains connecting Mangalore-Chennai, Hubli-Manmad, Dharwad-Madurai, Mumbai-Mangalore-Bangalore, Hubli-Dadar, Mangalore-Bangalore-Howrah, Dharwad-Kanyakumari, Ernakulam-Jaipur via Mangalore, Bangalore-Shirdi via Bellary, Bagalkot-Solapur, Yeshwantpur-Bijapur, Mysore-Solapur via Hassan and Hubli, Hubli-Pune via Bagalkot, Bijapur and Solapur and Hubli-Mumbai.

Demanding that the Subramanya Road Station in Dakshina Kannada be made a terminating station facilitating introduction of new trains, Mr. Sadananda Gowda urged the Ministry to operate passenger trains between Sakleshpur-Subramanya Road and Mangalore-Subramanya to cater to pilgrims.

Keywords: Railway Budget