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Updated: January 17, 2014 10:13 IST

Work on new rail lines yet to start for want of land

Anil Kumar Sastry
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The two new lines, if completed, would reduce the distance between Bangalore and Bellary by at least 30 km and between Bangalore and Hubli by 60 km, respectively.

The South Western Railway is unable to commence work on two new railway lines that would have reduced railroad distance between important cities in the State, for want of land.

The State government has not handed over even one acre of land for the Tumkur-Rayadurg new line, via Kalyandurg (207 km), that was announced in the 2007-08 Railway budget, and the Tumkur-Davangere new line, via Sira (200 km), announced in the 2011-12 budget, according to sources in the South Western Railway.

The two new lines, if completed, would reduce the distance between Bangalore and Bellary by at least 30 km and between Bangalore and Hubli by 60 km, respectively. Now, trains from Bangalore run via Tumkur, Birur, Chitradurga, Rayadurg (464 km) or via Hindupur and Guntakal (358 km) to Bellary. The distance between Bangalore and Bellary via Tumkur and Rayadurg will be 321 km, the sources said.

Both the projects are taken up on cost sharing basis (50:50) between the Railways and the two State governments, while the State governments have to provide land free. Sources said that 17 km of new line has been laid from Rayadurg in Andhra Pradesh and 9 km would be added by this month-end. Also, work on a major bridge across the Vedavathi in Andhra Pradesh has commenced. However, there has been no physical progress in Karnataka, they added.

The line would also have provided rail connectivity to backward regions in Karnataka — Koratagere, Madhugiri and Pavagada.

However, not a single acre of the 1,342 acres of land required for the project in the State has been given to the South Western Railway, the sources said.

Reduced distance

Similar is the case with the Tumkur-Davangere new line. The railroad distance between the two cities is 326 km on the circuitous route via Tumkur, Arsikere and Birur. The proposed line via Sira, Chitradurga and Bharamasagar (along National Highway 4) would just be 265 km.

The railroad distance between Bangalore and Chitradurga, now 312 km, via Birur and Chikjajur, would come down to 205 km. Under this project too, no land has been given to the South Western Railway, while the land required for the project is 2,961 acres.

South Western Railway has written letters urging the government to expedite the process of land acquisition, the sources said. Besides these two new lines, work on Whitefield-Kolar (52.9 km); Marikuppam-Kuppam (23.7 km); Chikmagalur-Sakleshpur (47 km) and Hejjala-Chamarajanagar (140 km) new lines and Hosadurga-Chikjajur line doubling has not commenced yet for want of land, the sources added.

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