It was a mixed bag for the State in the Railway Budget 2014-15 (Vote on Account for four months) presented by Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday.
Though the State bagged 12 trains of the 73 new ones announced and also sees an increase in frequency of three trains, one of the major demands — setting up a suburban rail system for Bangalore — did not find a mention.
Similarly, the creation of new railway divisions in Gulbarga and Mangalore has not found a place. Everyone expected that Mr. Kharge would positively respond to the demand for Gulbarga division as he is from the region. Parliamentarians from the coastal region, including Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, had appealed for creating Mangalore division and bring it under the Konkan Railway network.
Besides the 12 new trains, Mr. Kharge has ordered a survey of four new rail lines in the State, which include the once-completed survey between Tiptur, on the Tumkur-Arsikere line, and Dudda, on the Hassan-Arsikere line (31 km), and Challakere-Channarayapatna new line via Hiriyur and Turuvekere (200 km). The other new line surveys include Bijapur-Miraj; Belgaum-Hubli via Kittur and Bellary-Lingsugur via Sirguppa and Sindhanur.
The Minister has increased frequency of three popular trains — 17225/17226 Vijaywada-Hubli Amaravati Express, 17319/17320 Hubli-Secundrabad Express and 16571/16572 Yeshwantpur-Bidar Express — from three days a week to daily.
However, another important demand — regularisation of Yeshwantpur-Miraj bi-weekly special train (06517/06518) service — has not attended to, regretted K.N. Krishna Prasad, a retired Union government employee. So has been the case with the demand for a superfast train between Bangalore and Mumbai, he said. Of the 12 new trains, four are premium ones, seven express and one passenger.
The premium trains are the Yeshwantpur-Jodhpur Weekly; Patna-Bangalore Weekly; Yeshwantpur-Katra Weekly and Thiruvananthapuram-Yeshwantpur bi-weekly. The express trains are Aurangabad- Renigunta Weekly via Bidar; Bangalore-Chennai Daily; Howrah-Yeshwantpur Weekly AC; Hubli-Mumbai Weekly; Hyderabad-Gulbarga Daily Intercity; Mumbai-Chennai Weekly via Gulbarga and Mysore-Varanasi. The single passenger train announced is between Hubli and Belgaum.