Line doubling, rail electrification projects get a boost in Karnataka

Meagre allocation to State still a concern for advocacy groups

February 04, 2017 12:18 am | Updated 12:18 am IST - MANGALURU:

The finer details of railway projects for Karnataka emerged on Friday with the Indian Railways releasing the Pink Book detailing out allocations for various projects.

Major chunk of the allocations have been made to line doubling, including Hubballi-Vasco-da-Gama, ₹250 crore; Hotgi-Gadag, ₹138 crore; Hubballi-Chikkajajur (Bengaluru line), ₹198 crore, Arsikere-Tumakuru, ₹138 crore and Yelahanka-Penukonda, ₹120 crore under South Western Railway (SWR).

Some of the new line works too got a boost, including Rayadurg-Tumakuru, ₹81 crore; Bagalkot-Kudachi, ₹50 crore; Tumakuru-Chitradurga-Davangere, ₹30 crore, Hassan-Bengaluru, ₹79 crore and Gadag-Wadi, ₹40 crore. Of the total allocation of ₹3,146 crore to SWR, ₹331.8 crore are earmarked for new lines; ₹309.6 crore for doubling and ₹59 crore for traffic facilities.

A new line between Gadag and Yalvigi (58 km) is sanctioned, though a token ₹1 crore is allocated for it.

Despite fervent demands to operationalise the new divisional office announced at Kalaburgi, only ₹1 lakh has been earmarked for creation of facilities under Solapur division of Central Railway.

Under South Central Railway, ongoing new line works of Kalaburagi-Bidar got ₹50 crore; Raichur-Mahabubnagar ₹200 crore and Kadapa-Bengaluru (Bangarpet) ₹150 crore. Doubling of Daund-Kalaburgi and electrification of Pune-Guntakal got ₹200 crore. Patch doubling between Mangaluru Junction and Panambur under Southern Railway got ₹92 crore while doubling between Netravathi Cabin and Mangaluru Central (1.5 km) got ₹5 crore.

Meanwhile, there is a push for rail electrification in the State, with Chikkabanavara-Hubballi (456 km); Chikkajajur-Ballari (184 km); Gadag-Hotgi (284 km) and Bengaluru-Omalur via Hosur (196 km) proposed to be added to the electrification network without earmarking any funds. Guntakal-Ballari-Hosapet got ₹66 crore; Hosapete-Vasco got ₹88 crore and Miraj-Londa got ₹22 crore.

Sunil Kulkarni and Sanjeev Dyamannavar from Rail advocacy groups regretted SWR got meagre allocation (₹3,146 crore) compared to neighbouring zones — Central Railway, ₹6419 crore; South Central Railway, ₹5,598 crore and Southern Railway, ₹5,785 crore. Maharashtra, home State of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, is witnessing windfall, they said. K.N. Krishna Pasad, a rail enthusiast, welcomed higher allocation to Tumakuru-Hubballi line doubling and Tumakuru-Davangere new line.

Third coaching terminal for Bengaluru

Taking forward its proposal to decongest Bengaluru city and Yeshwantpur terminals, the Ministry of Railways has allocated ₹32 crore for the third coaching terminal at Byappanahalli.

The Pink Book of the Railways released on Friday pegs the total cost of the terminal at ₹116 crore. The work is expected to be completed in three years.

Sanjeev Dyamannavar from Prajaa Raag, rail advocacy group, regretted no beginning was made for Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project.

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