Special Correspondent

Delegation of HKCCI to submit memorandum to South Western Railways

People of the city are dependent on Udhyan Express coming from Mumbai and Bijapur-Yeshwantpur Express to reach BangaloreKarnataka Express coming from New Delhi arrives in Gulbarga at odd hours

GULBARGA: The Hyderabad Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HKCCI) on Tuesday demanded that the Union Railway Ministry introduce a direct daily night train from Gulbarga to Bangalore. If this was not possible immediately, the Railways should at least convert the thrice a week Bijapur-Yeshwantpur Express as a daily train, it said.

HKCCI president Umakant Nigudgi said here that while almost all important cities in the State had direct train facility to Bangalore, Gulbarga city, which was the divisional headquarters with many educational institutions, was deprived of it.

People of the city were dependent on Udhyan Express coming from Mumbai and Bijapur-Yeshwantpur Express train for travelling to Bangalore. The other two trains Karnataka Express coming from New Delhi arrived at Gulbarga at odd hours of 2.20 a.m. and the Kurla-Coimbatore Express was a day train.

He said that the HKCCI has decided to lead a 25-member delegation to Bangalore to meet the divisional manager of the South Western Railways and present a memorandum in this regard. Mr Nigudgi said that the HKCCI would set a one-month deadline for the Railways to act on the demand. If it was not met, the HKCCI with the help of other organisations would be forced to launch an agitation.

The delegation would also call on Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on June 29 and present a memorandum demanding among other things the reduction of the APMC market cess on agriculture produce from 1.5 per cent to 1 per cent immediately.

Mr Nigudgi said that no market cess was collected in Maharashtra and the cess in Andhra Pradesh was low. Hence Karnataka suffered losses due to diversion of trade, particularly in red gram, from the Hyderabad Karnataka region to Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The delegation would call on Agriculture Marketing Minister Sharanabasappa Darshanapur and persuade him to lead the delegation of the HKCCI to the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister.

Self-assessment `unscientific'

The delegation would also plead with the Mr Kumaraswamy and Mr Yediyurappa to withdraw the "unscientific" self-assessment tax formula introduced in Gulbarga and continue the earlier system. The present self-assessment tax formula was unscientific and the rates fixed on properties were very high and on a par with the property rates in Bangalore and Mysore.

Mr. Nigudgi said the delegation would also call on the Public Works and Energy Minister H.D. Revanna and submit a memorandum on the need for upgradation of the inter-State highway connecting Waghdhari in Maharashtra passing through Gulbarga and connecting Andhra Pradesh under the Build Operate Own and Transfer (BOOT) scheme.