Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge is now caught in a dilemma after a high-level panel in the Railway Ministry virtually rejected the proposal for creating new zones or divisions, including the proposed Railway divisions in Gulbarga and Mangalore, citing financial burden.
The creation of a new railway division in Gulbarga was on the top of the agenda of Mr. Kharge who represents the Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency.
This is not the first time that the proposal has been rejected.
A few years ago, an official committee rejected the proposal stating that it was not economically viable and the latest official committee has opposed the creation of the zone on the plea that the Railways was facing a financial crunch.
“The Railways is facing financial problems and the creation of new zones or divisions would result in further deterioration of the situation,” it has said.
It was the Sarin Committee that had given a favourable report in 1984 for the establishment of the Railway divisional headquarters in Gulbarga for the development of railway network in the region.
However, the recommendations were not implemented then, and later an official committee was constituted to go into the demand.
The recent official committee report also states that establishing divisions in Gulbarga and Mangalore were not viable both in terms of finance and infrastructure. While Mangalore comes under the Palakkad division of the Southern Railway, Gulbarga is served by Central Railways, the South Central Railways and the South Western Railways.
Both Mangalore and Gulbarga provide good financial earnings to the Palakkad division, the Central Railways and the South Central Railways through freight movement.
Mr. Kharge in a chat with presspersons here on Sunday said that though the official committee report had rejected the proposal for establishing the divisional headquarters in Gulbarga and Mangalore, the Railway Ministry had not given up the idea and the issue was still under the consideration of the government.