Minister for Railways M. Mallikarjun Kharge has said that the State does not have much of a railway network compared to Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra. To improve railway network, the State government should join hands with the Union government by releasing its share of funds for the projects regularly.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone for the Hosadurga Road-Chikjajur Junction Railway Doubling Project here on Sunday, he said that the Railways requires Rs. 1,400 crore to complete the ongoing projects in the State. However, the State government has released only Rs. 50 crore this year for these projects.

Stating that land acquisition was a major hindrance to quick implementation of railway projects, the Minister said that many a time farmers approached courts demanding more compensation for their land even after the government had paid them suitable compensation as per market rate. “The State government should take the initiative to convince farmers in places where railway projects are being implemented to hand over land smoothly after receiving suitable compensation,” he added.

On the Hosadurga Road–Chikjajur Junction Railway doubling project, he said that the doubling of Hosadurga Road and Chikjajur line will be the last stage of the Arsikere-Chikjajur doubling scheme. The detailed estimate for doubling Hosadurga Road-Chikjajur section of 29.65 km was sanctioned in July 2013. The cost was pegged at Rs. 203.40 crore. The doubling work is expected to be completed in two-and-a-half years.

With the completion of the Hosadurga Road-Chikjajur doubling work, Arsikere-Chikjajur route will become an important route as it provides connectivity between mining areas in the hinterland and Mangalore Port. It will also facilitate the movement of petroleum products from Hassan to north Karnataka and central India.

As a part of the project, new station buildings are being constructed at Hosadurga, Chikjajur, Ramgiri and Halalkere stations.

During the line doubling project, 11 unmanned level crossings and two manned level crossings will be removed to enhance safety of road and rail users. Electronic interlocking at stations will be provided to further improve safety in train operations. It is planned to install renewable energy sources such as solar lighting on platforms and the station building at Chikjajur, he added.

Chief Minister S. Siddaramaiah, district in-charge Minister H. Anjaneya, MP Janardhanswamy, MLA B.G. Govindappa, Deputy Commissioner V.P. Ikkeri and Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer K.M. Narayanswamy were present.

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