Staff Reporter

Parliamentary panel to suggest early introduction of train to Mangalore

BANGALORE: Basudeb Acharia, MP and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways, on Thursday said the committee would recommend to the Ministry of Railways to allocate sufficient funds for speedy completion of all ongoing railway projects in Karnataka, including the doubling of the Bangalore-Mysore line.

Speaking to reporters after reviewing the performance of South Western Railway (SWR) here, Mr. Acharia said although the Railways claimed that it would take three years to complete the work, he would urge the Ministry to speed up the process.

The committee would ask the Ministry to take up simultaneous electrification of the line as there was only one electrified section in South Western Railway.

Electrification did not require time and it could be completed within a year, he said.

The committee took note that the South Western Railway had shortage of over 7,000 staff, mainly in technical and safety wing. Although the Centre had been talking about downsizing the staff strength across various departments, it should not be made applicable to the Railways, he said.

Train to Mangalore

Responding to a question, Mr. Acharia said he would urge the Railway Board to begin passenger train service between Mangalore-Mysore-Bangalore and Mangalore-Arasikere-Bangalore on the newly converted broadgauge line.

He said the Commissioner for Railway Safety had put certain conditions as far as the operation of passenger trains was concerned and the railways was addressing those conditions.

To the allegation that the Railway authorities were under pressure from road transporters’ lobby, General Manager Praveen Kumar said: “I am for taking as much as road traffic for the railways and there is no question of succumbing to the pressure of any lobby,” he said.

Mysore MP C.H. Vijayashankar, Bangalore Divisional Railway Manager Mahesh Mangal and the Additional Divisional Railway Manager Deepak Chchabra were present.