‘Merge Konkan Railway with Indian Railways’

Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje says Konkan Railway has failed the aspirations of coastal Karnataka

August 04, 2021 06:28 pm | Updated November 22, 2021 09:58 pm IST - MANGALURU

Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Development Shobha Karandlaje (2nd from left) submitted a memorandum of demands, including merger of Konkan Railway with Indian Railways, to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav in the presence of Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi (right) in New Delhi on August 2, 2021.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Development Shobha Karandlaje (2nd from left) submitted a memorandum of demands, including merger of Konkan Railway with Indian Railways, to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav in the presence of Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi (right) in New Delhi on August 2, 2021.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Development Shobha Karandlaje has requested Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav to merge Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. (KRCL) with Indian Railways.

Ms. Karandlaje represents Udupi-Chikkamagaluru Lok Sabha constituency. She told the Railway Minister that the KRCL, a joint venture of Indian Railways with Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala, has failed to fulfil the aspirations of coastal Karnataka.

When compared to other railway zones of IR, KRCL has completely failed to respond to the needs of the region. She wants it be merged with IR and brought under the control of South Western Railway (Karnataka-Goa) and Central Railway (Maharashtra). This has been a long-pending demand of people from the region, she added.

Ms. Karandlaje reminded the Minister her earlier letter seeking restoration of the tri-weekly day train between Karwar and Yeshwantpur that is now cancelled between Karwar and Mangaluru Junction by Konkan Railway.

Rail patrons in the region allege that KRCL did not launch even one train to serve the people of Karnataka, but was cancelling trains introduced after lengthy legal battles. They gave the example of cancellation of Bengaluru-Kannur/Karwar overnight express that operated four days via Kunigal and three days via Mysuru in 2020 as a pre-condition by KRCL to introduce a direct overnight train between Bengaluru and Karwar. The Bengaluru-Karwar-Bengaluru overnight train, named Panchaganga Express, runs without stopping in Mangaluru, and was introduced only after the existing overnight express was cancelled.

Though the KRCL network in Karnataka stretches over 250 km, the Corporation did not develop minimum facilities for stabling (halting) of trains in any of the district headquarters. Karwar does not have facilities to replenish water in passing trains, ruling out the possibility of introduction of services from coastal Karnataka, they claim. Patrons claims that KRCL cancelled the popular Yeshwantpur-Karwar-Yeshwantpur tri-weekly day train between Karwar and Mangaluru Junction to earn a profit by running goods trains.

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