The railway budget to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday has raised expectations from stakeholders in the region of new services and an upgrade of existing facilities in Mysore division. Commissioning of new train services and an increase in frequency of existing services are high on the wish list of the public.
This includes a direct train from Mysore to Shimoga and Talaguppa originating from Bangalore, Mysore-Varanasi Express, and making Mysore-Chennai Shatabdi Express a daily service instead of operating six days a week. Some of these demands were made when the interim railway budget was presented in February but were ignored. Mysore was allocated a Railway Medical College and Hospital to cater to the educational need of the children of railway employees located all over India. Though the project was announced in 2011, it is held up due to paucity of land to establish the institute.
The city also got a multi-functional complex as a one-stop shop for all public amenities including restaurants, food plaza, and internet café. Though the building is ready, the complex is yet to be commissioned. Meanwhile, the demand for additional trains on the Bangalore-Mysore section has shot up due to track capacity augmentation consequent to the ongoing doubling work.
There is also a demand for increasing the frequency of some long-distance trains like the Mysore-Mumbai Sharavathi Express And the Mysore-Hazarath Nizamuddin Swarna Jayanti Express. Members of the Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Mysore Industries’ Association have sought an inter-city express service connecting Mysore with Hubli, a major commercial centre.
Similarly, there is no clarity on the Mysore-Madikeri railway line project, as the rate of returns is negative and hence the Railway Board has declared it unviable. However, the State government was keen to fund the project partially and Tuesday’s budget is expected to indicate whether the project will be taken up or not this year.