It’s official. After setting several deadlines for completion of track-doubling work between Bangalore and Mysore and construction of the Bangalore-Hassan railway line, the Railway Ministry has now said that both projects will be completed only by 2014-15.
Speaking to presspersons after reviewing the progress of railway projects in Karnataka along with State government officials here on Monday, Union Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa said funds crunch and unavailability of land in certain stretches was coming in the way of speedy completion of projects.
Conceived more than a decade ago, the track-doubling work between Bangalore and Mysore track began about six years ago and was scheduled to be completed by 2011. The new deadline has poured cold water on the hopes of thousands of commuters.
Similarly, the delay in completing work on the Bangalore-Hassan line has disappointed many commuters as the project will not only provide direct train connectivity to Hassan, but also substantially reduce the distance and travel time to Mangalore.
Chief Administrative Officer (Construction), South Western Railway, Adesh Sharma, however, said serious efforts are being made to complete these projects within two years.
He said that of the 129 acres of land required for track doubling between Ramanagaram and Mysore, 79 acres had been provided to the Railways. This financial year, the Railways will complete 25 km of track-doubling work between Shettihalli and Hanakare.
The Bangalore-Hassan line, sanctioned in 1996-97, has been completed between Hassan and Shravanabelagola (42 km) and Chikkabanavara and Nelamangala (14 km).
Services would start on these stretches this year, Mr. Muniyappa said.