Chitradurga-Bangalore railway link project gets the nod
With the Planning Commission giving “in principle” approval to the long-awaited Chitradurga-Bangalore railway link, the project has overcome a significant hurdle.
Recently, the Planning Commission approved the project, “subjected to the condition that the State Government would share 50 per cent of the cost”.
“While the total project cost is estimated at Rs. 913 crore, the State Government has agreed to meet 50 per cent of it, besides acquiring land at its own expense to hand it over to the Railway Ministry,” said Janardhana Swamy, MP.
Mr. Swamy said the decades-old demand was finally being fulfilled with several hurdles, mainly financial, being overcome.
The project was not being considered in the past as the Railway Department had found it to be economically unviable as it was not giving 15 per cent returns, the minimum fixed by the Railway Ministry for it to undertake a project.
Mr. Swamy said that in the past survey, the Railway Department had found that the project could fetch only 11.5 per cent returns. However, over a period of time, the socio-economic conditions changed as several other ambitious projects coming to the district improved the economic feasibility of the Chitradurga-Bangalore railway link.
“The recent survey found that the total returns would be around 22.6 per cent,” he said.
Now, with the fresh survey done, around 190 km-long railway line would be laid between Tumkur and Davangere that passes through Sira, Hiriyur, Chitradurga and Bharamasagar.
The long-pending project would not only help poor people travel to Bangalore at a cheaper rate, but would also help farmers transport goods at an affordable cost.
In the absence of a direct railway link to Bangalore, the present passenger rail covers Holalkere, Birur, Kadur, Arsikere, Tiptur and Tumkur to reach Bangalore. Due to the missing link between Chitradurga and Tumkur, trains cover about 340 km to reach Bangalore while the distance between Chitradurga and Bangalore is around 190 km.
The journey that takes nearly 10 hours will be cut short to 3 hours with this project.
Hoping that the project would get the Cabinet approval soon, he said the project may be complete within three years of its commencement.