Unprecedented event in State’s rail history, says Dharam Singh

On Sunday, the residents of the district had a dream six decades old fulfilled, with the inauguration of the direct train to Bangalore.

People who had thronged the railway station cheered endlessly as Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge pulled a lever to signal loco pilots to speed away.

The train’s whistle was drowned out by the crowd’s joyous outburst. Some raised slogans in favour of Mr. Kharge while others distributed sweets.

Ashok Kheny, MLA, said he was so happy that he wanted to name the train after Mr. Kharge.

N. Dharam Singh, MP, said it was an “unprecedented event in the State’s railway history.”

“I feel as if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked Mr. Kharge to take charge of the railways only to make sure that this train was started. If not for Mr. Kharge, this would not have happened,” Mr. Singh said.

This train will not only attract industrial investment to Bidar, but also promote tourism in the city, he felt.

“What is more, the governance of the district would improve, as Ministers and senior officials can now make frequent visits to Bidar to monitor the progress of departments,” the MP said.

He urged railway officials to start the Bidar-Hyderabad intercity express train from Nampalli rather than Secunderabad, as it would help petty traders and labourers.

‘Extend this line’

Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli and Prabhu Chauhan, MLAs, sought a line between Bidar-Aurad-Deglur-Nanded. Mr. Chauhan sought extension of the Mumbai-Latur train to Bidar.

Ishwar Khandre, MLA, said it was “a gift to the district” by Mr. Kharge who was born in Waravatti in Bhalki, though he built his political career in Gulbarga. Mr. Khandre sought a train from Bhalki and Bidar to Tirupati, by linking it with trains on the Parli Vaijanath-Bangalore line. Raghunath Malkapure, MLC, urged Mr. Kharge and Mr. Singh to see that Bidar was selected for establishment of the centrally funded scheme of National Investment Manufacturing Zone, to help setting up of industries.

A.K. Mittal, General Manager, South Western Railway, said work on the Bidar-Gulbarga rail line was 42 per cent complete. Work is in progress on the Raichur-Gadwal line, he said. The Bidar- Yeshwanthpur train would be maintained in Yeshwanthpur initially.

“We have started work on water supply systems and maintenance centres in Bidar. They will be completed in six months. The maintenance operations will shift to Bidar then,” he said.

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