Lending support to the long-pending demand of the people of the State, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda has urged the Railway Ministry to create a Railway division in Mangalore by separating the region from the Palghat division and bringing the Konkan Railway network within the State under it.
In letters to Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi and Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa, Mr. Sadananda Gowda, among other things, urged the Ministry to introduce 18 new trains, extend services of six existing trains, and announcements of these in the Railway Budget. He said that the demand to bring Mangalore region under the South Western Railway and declaring it a division has been a long-standing demand.
The Chief Minister urged the Ministry to introduce direct trains between Bijapur and Mangalore, Mangalore and Delhi, Dharwad and Mangalore, Gulbarga and Bangalore, and Bangalore and Amritsar. Mr. Sadananda Gowda added that people from the coastal regions of the State hardly get berths or seats in the Mangala Lakshadweep Express to Delhi as the train gets filled up in Kerala itself.
He also demanded new trains between Mangalore and Chennai; Hubli and Manmad via Kalyan and Nasik; Dharwad and Madurai via Bangalore and Chennai; Mumbai-Mangalore and Bangalore; Hubli and Dadar; Mangalore-Bangalore and Howrah; Dharwad and Kanyakumari; Ernakulam and Jaipur via Mangalore; Bangalore and Shirdi via Bellary, Bagalkot and Solapur; Yeshwantpur and Bijapur; Mysore and Solapur via Hassan and Hubli; Hubli and Pune via Bagalkot, Bijapur and Solapur; and Hubli and Mumbai.
Mr. Sadananda Gowda urged the Ministry to extend the Bangalore-Hubli Jan Shatabdi to Dharwad; Solapur-Bagalkot Passenger to Dharwad; Vasco-Kulem Passenger to Hubli; Hubli-Bijapur Passenger to Solapur; Hubli-Miraj Passenger to Dadar; and CST Mumbai-Bijapur Fast Passenger to Gadag.
Besides the new trains, the Chief Minister urged the Railway Ministry to convert Dharwad Station into a terminal to start new train services. He demanded that all railway stations in the State be provided with ramps and pathways for wheelchairs. The Kabaka Puttur Station should be made a model station and the station at Jokatte near Mangalore should be upgraded to handle passengers for Mangalore Airport.
The 190 km Bellary-Rayadurga-Chitradurga-Chikkajajur line is underutilised and only two passenger trains are operated. Hence, a daily night train between Hospet (Hampi) and Mysore should be started, he said.
The Chief Minister said that thousands of pilgrims visit Kukke Subramanya, Dharmasthala and surrounding areas every day. However, the pathetic condition of the Shiradi Ghat makes their travel miserable. Hence, the Ministry should start commuter rail (push-pull) between Sakleshpur-Subramanya Road and Mangalore-Subramanya Road.