Ongoing sanctioned rail projects require Rs. 17,838 crore Average yearly expenditure of last five years is Rs. 711 crore16 new lines with a sanctioned length of 2,095 km planned

The ongoing sanctioned railway line projects in the State require Rs. 17,838 crore for completion, while the average yearly outlay and expenditure of the last five years is Rs. 711 crore.

Sources in the South Western Railways told The Hindu that at this rate of allocation, the State will require 25 years to complete existing projects.

Enhance allocation

Hence, there was pressure on Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda to enhance the allocation to Karnataka in the forthcoming Railway Budget to improve railway infrastructure here, which is poorer than other States.

Of the ongoing projects, 16 new lines with a sanctioned length of 2,095 km are planned as well as nine projects pertaining to doubling of 584 km rail line. Out of the target of laying 2,095 km new lines, only 225 km track has been laid. With regard to track doubling, out of 584 km, 144 km has been completed .

During 2011–12, 18 km of track was laid and 31 km of track was doubled, in 2012-13, 48.35 km of new line was added while 44.3 km of track length was doubled and during 2013–14, 61 km of new line was added and 59 km was doubled.

The completion of new lines alone will require about Rs. 14,421 crore, while track doubling will require Rs. 3,405 crore. The authorities have set a target of adding 57 km of new lines during 2014–15, including between B.G. Nagar-Yediyur (15 km) and Yediyur-Kunigal (17 km) on Hassan-Bangalore section; 8 km connecting Vedavathy and Kalyanadurga between Tumkur-Rayadurga section; 10 km between Ginigera and Budhagumpa between Ginigera and Raichur and 7 km between Bagalkot-Kerkalamatti on the Bagalkot-Kudachi section.

Track doubling

For track doubling, the authorities want to complete 10 km work between Pandavapura-Srirangapatna on the Bangalore-Mysore section.

This does not include two bridges sanctioned across the river Cauvery. The Ramagiri-Holalkere stretch of 10 km on the Hosadurga-Chikjajur section is also targeted for completion, as also 9 km linking Yeliyur-Bydarahalli on the Bangalore-Mysore section.

Though Karnataka is among the few States which has opted for taking up major projects on a cost-sharing basis, there are important projects being taken up by the Railways under a non-cost sharing basis.

The allocation for State projects has to increase to expedite their completion, said railway officials.

Cost-sharing projects

Cost-sharing projects under which work is in progress includes Chikmagalur-Sakleshpur new line (47 km), Munirabad-Raichur (165 km); Ramanagaram-Mysore (as part of Bangalore-Mysore track doubling project).

Cost-sharing work approved by the Planning Commission but yet to be taken up for want of free land includes the Tumkur-Chitradurga-Davangere new line (200 km), Shimoga-Harihar new line (79 km) and Gadag-Wadi new line (252 km).