Ravi Sharma

Lalu Prasad expected to inaugurate it next month

Bangalore: With the Commissioner for Railway Safety (CRS) having given "a fitness certificate" for the track doubling work and running of passenger trains up to a speed of 65 kmph between Bangalore and Kengeri, the decks have been cleared for its formal inauguration.

Lalu to inaugurate

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, who will be in Bangalore during the first week of March to deliver a management talk, is expected to inaugurate the long-pending project, which will benefit hundreds of commuters.

First step

The 14-km Bangalore-Kengeri stretch, which is the first step in the Rs. 240-crore eventual track doubling between Bangalore and Mysore, will, according to South Western Railway officials, reduce the travel time from Mysore to Bangalore by around 20 minutes.

Over 20,000 commuters, who travel every day from Mysore to Bangalore, will benefit from this.

Electrification

The stretch, which is with electrification, has been completed at a cost of Rs. 28 crore.

The Bangalore-Mysore track-doubling project is being undertaken on a cost-sharing basis with the State Government contributing two-thirds of the cost with the remaining being funded by the Railways.

According to Mahesh Mangal, Divisional Railway Manager, South Western Railway, track-doubling work on the 17-km stretch between Kengeri and Bidadi will be ready by March end.

Linking

"Track linking is going on. We are awaiting clearance from the Commissioner for Railway Safety," he said.

Mr. Mangal said that the further progress of the project depended on the State Government making available adequate funds.

The Kengeri-Bidadi-Ramanagaram stretch, which is without electrification, is expected to cost Rs 58 crore.

Allocation

Mr. Mangal said, "The Railway Minister's budget has made an allocation of Rs. 5 crore towards the Ramanagaram-Mysore stretch which is with electrification.

"It will possibly take two or three years before the entire Bangalore-Mysore track-doubling project is fully completed."

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