The target can be achieved if funds are provided, says Minister Kharge

Admitting that the rail route density in the State was poor, Minister for Railways M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said that his aim is to double the network from 2,400 km to 4,700 km.

If adequate funds are provided both by his Ministry and the State government and land is made available by the State government, the target could be achieved within eight years, Mr. Kharge said.

He was speaking after flagging off the Yeshwanthpur-Chandigarh Sampark Kranti Bi-weekly Express (22685/22686) and laying the foundation stone for remodelling of the Yelahanka Railway Station here.

All the demands of the region cannot be met this time as he would be presenting the vote on account next month. He would try to get the best for the region within the available resources.

He said that in the last eight months as the Railway Minister he had given fillip to long-pending projects and ensured that work was completed. This was due to infusing more funds by the Railways as well as equal contribution from the State government.

Still, availability of land for projects is a major hindrance, Mr. Kharge said and cited the examples of Tumkur-Davangere, Tumkur-Rayadurg and Bidadi-Chamarajanagar new lines and Bangalore-Mysore doubling project. Though Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is responsive, the bureaucracy has not kept pace with him, the Minister regretted. He has written to Mr. Siddaramaiah about the non-availability of land.

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily and Yelahanka MLA S.R. Vishwanath were present.

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