Funding for rail route electrification enhanced

Electrification of tracks will be taken up in Mysuru division for which adequate funds have been provided in the budget.

Electrification of tracks will be taken up in Mysuru division for which adequate funds have been provided in the budget.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

Mysuru-Hassan, Mysuru-Chamarajanagar routes to be electrified

As part of phasing out diesel and going fully electric within the next few years, the Centre has increased funding for electrification of rail routes, and significant allocation has been made to the Mysuru division of South Western Railway.

Accordingly the Mysuru-Chamarajanagar and Mysuru-Hassan section is also set to be electrified.

The electrification from Hassan will be extended to Mangaluru and the Hassan-Arsikere section will also be electrified. An SWR release said the Mysuru-Chamarajanagar section has received ₹20 crore and Mysuru-Hassan-Mangaluru and Hassan-Arsikere lines, ₹60 crore.

The Chikkabanavara-Hassan section has received ₹30 crore while electrification of Kadur-Chikkamagaluru section has been allotted ₹25 crore. In addition, remodelling of Hassan yard will be taken up to facilitate dealing of trains from Bengaluru to Mangaluru directly without engine reversal.

Mysuru-Kushalnagar line

There is a provision of ₹1 crore for conducting the final location survey for the Mysuru (Belagola-Kushalnagar) railway line project which has run into rough weather with the environmentalists and people of Kodagu opposing it. The final location survey includes preparing the final alignment and sites of railway stations demarcated and is an indication that the project till Kushalnagar is on.

The railway line will branch off from Belagola to link Kushalnagar and the route length is 87.20 km. The towns to be linked include Yelwala, Bilikere, Uddur, Hunsur, Satyagola, Periyapatna and Doddahonnur and the cost per km of laying the track is ₹21.27 crore.

However, there is no reference to the alternative line from Hejjala to Chamarajanagar via Malavalli and Kollegal, a route which was approved in 1996, and continues to be in limbo.

This was originally part of a project connecting Bengaluru with Satyamangalam via Chamarajanagar but the last stretch – Chamarajanagar-Satyamangalam – was scrapped in view of environmental issues and the landscape being a prime wildlife habitat.

The remaining stretch was proposed to provide rail connectivity to a vast swathe of Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts by linking Malavalli and Kollegal with Bengaluru via Hejjala. This was supposed to give a fillip to the agrarian economy of the Malavalli-Kollegal belt by creating a direct linkage to the markets in Bengaluru.

At present passengers from Chamarajanagar to Bengaluru have to travel via Mysuru and the distance is almost 200 km.

But the alternative line will reduce it to about 142 km and hence provide direct connectivity to the State capital.

The estimated cost as on February 2018 was ₹1382.78 crore with 50 per cent of the cost to be shared by the State government which was also supposed to expedite the land acquisition process. But there is hardly any reference to the railway line in the pink book, the official railway document cataloguing all approved works.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 2:08:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/funding-for-rail-route-electrification-enhanced/article30765187.ece

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