Railway Minister likely to visit State in October, says Muniyappa
She is likely to flag off eight train extensions announced in the Budget
Survey for direct railway line from Hubli-Dharwad to Belgaum under way
HUBLI: Union Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa has said that several pending issues and new proposals would be taken up for discussion during Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s forthcoming visit to Karnataka, which is likely in October.
Addressing presspersons in Hubli on Thursday, Mr. Muniyappa said that Ms. Mamata had agreed to visit Karnataka to flag off eight train extensions that were announced in the Budget. The occasion would be used to apprise her of the pending projects and new proposals.
He said that Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had come forward to share the cost of railway lines where the rate of returns was less. He had already written to the Union Government on taking up Shimoga-Harihar and Kolar-Bangalore lines on a cost-sharing basis.
“But apart from these, there are several other routes like Davangere-Tumkur and others which require cost-sharing by the State, and these proposals would be taken up during the discussion with the Chief Minister. The viable projects would be taken up on the basis of cost-sharing by the State,” he said.
Mr. Muniyappa said that he had taken up the issue of long-pending projects — like Hubli-Ankola and Talaguppa-Honavar, which had been held up owing to lack of environmental clearance and other technical issues — with the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, and apprised him of the need for clearing the projects.
He said during the first meeting several issues had been discussed and it had been agreed to take up the issue again in the next meeting scheduled in October.
“One thing is clear, Railways is very keen on implementing these projects and we will make all efforts to get them implemented,” he said.
The Minister said the people of Belgaum region had demanded a direct railway line from Hubli-Dharwad to Belgaum and a preliminary survey on the route was under way.
Similarly, there were other proposals which would be discussed in detail during Ms. Mamata’s visit and during the meeting with the Chief Minister, he said.
Regarding extension of Bangalore-Hubli-Bangalore Intercity Express trains to Dharwad, the Minister said that soon the service would be launched, but he didn’t specify the period.