With the Railway Board believed to be not in favour of new divisions and zones, Mangalore and Gulbarga may find the going tough in realising their demand for such divisions.
The Railway Board is said to be in favour of a recommendation made by a committee that the loss-making Railways is ill-poised to add more divisions and zones that entail additional financial burden.
The Railway Board set up the committee to consider the demands for formation of new divisions and zones from the State government, elected representatives and railway enthusiasts. The committee, constituted in 2012, considered the demands for 42 divisions and 32 zones in addition to the existing 68 divisions in 17 zones.
Delhi-based sources told The Hindu that the Railways, suffering an annual loss of about Rs. 35,000 crore, had hardly revised passenger fares in the last 14 years and one could hardly hope for upward revision when Lok Sabha elections are nearing.
On the other hand, the sources pointed out that the share of freight charges in Railway revenue has come down to less than 20 per cent.
It used to be 34 per cent a few years ago, the sources said. This is expected to reduce further as the Railways will have to dedicate rakes for transporting foodgrains to ensure implementation of the National Food Security Bill 2013.
Mangalore is now part of Palakkad Division of the Southern Railway, which is not keen on separating Mangalore as 90 per cent of all freight loading for the division happens at New Mangalore Port. People here hope to get a parallel line for the Konkan Railway and greater connectivity to Bangalore, among others, when the division is formed.
Gulbarga region is with Secunderabad and Solapur divisions. The Sarin Committee had recommended a divisional headquarters in Gulbarga in 1984. The sources maintained that the Railway Minister was yet to take a decision on the official recommendation of the committee.