As Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge presents the Railway Budget (Vote-on-Account for four months) on Wednesday, people have high expectations on development of railway infrastructure and introduction of new trains in the State.

Hopes are high because Mr. Kharge, immediately after taking over the new office, got the wheels moving and fast forwarded several pending projects in the State, including the Chickballapur-Kolar, Kadur-Chikmagalur new lines, introduced several new trains which were not announced in the Railway Budget 2013-14, announced the setting up of a rail coach factory in Yadgir and got a pact signed with the State government for setting up of another rail coach factory in Kolar.

People are hopeful that Mr. Kharge would announce a suburban rail system for Bangalore, pending for over three decades. Mr. Kharge said that the proposal is under the active consideration of the Ministry, while speaking in Bangalore on Saturday.

‘Speed up projects’

At the same time, the Minister should also give thrust to ongoing projects and expedite them, demanded K.N. Krishna Prasad, a retired Central government employee.

An early completion of the Bangalore-Mysore line doubling with electrification; completion of Nelamangala-Shravanabelagola section of Bangalore-Hassan new line; doubling of Yelahanka-Penukonda line in the Bangalore-Dharmavaram section; the completion of the Humnabad-Gulbarga new line and the opening of the Kottur-Harihar new line should be given priority.

Sanjeev Dyamannavar, founder of www.praja.in., a social networking blog on the Railways, said besides the suburban rail system for Bangalore, the Minister should reintroduce the train service between Alnawar-Ambewadi-Dandeli (31.7 km). This service was discontinued during gauge conversion in 1994.

Even after 13 years of gauge conversion, passenger trains are not being to Dandeli, which is an industrial and tourist centre.