Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday announced that the State government would provide Rs. 700 crore — half of the cost of a rail coach factory to be set up near Kolar, and also 1,200 acres of land free.
He was speaking after the inauguration of the new broadgauge railway line between Chickballapur and Kolar and the flagging-off of the inaugural special train between the two district headquarters at Chickballapur.
Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Industries and Lok Sabha member from Kolar K.H. Muniyappa had been urging the government to share half the project cost and provide land free for the coach factory.
The proposal was announced in the 2011-12 Railway Budget when Mr. Muniyappa was the Minister of State for Railways.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said that he had to yield to Mr. Muniyappa and make an early announcement about the State’s participation in the project as the latter used to call him frequently about the project. The coach factory is expected to generate about 5,000 jobs and improve the economy of the backward regions in Kolar district.
Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge said that 14 railway projects were in the offing in the State and they would require an investment of over Rs. 23,000 crore.
The Ministry is prepared to expedite the projects if the State government provides sufficient funds towards its share of project cost and also give land free, Mr. Kharge said.
The Railway Minister too complimented Mr. Muniyappa for his persistence in following up with development work and said that the latter had brought in many railway projects to the State. He said that the new line would benefit 11 taluks in the districts of Chickballapur and Kolar.
He said that the Chickballapur-Kolar line, which had been sanctioned just Rs. 100 crore out of the project cost of Rs. 450 crore till 2009, received a fillip thereafter due to the consistent efforts of Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister and Lok Sabha member from Chickballapur M. Veerappa Moily, Mr. Muniyappa and himself. The balance amount, including the State government’s share, was released fast and the project was completed in three years, Mr. Kharge said.
The new Kadur-Chikmagalur line would be opened for rail traffic on November 19, Mr. Kharge announced.
Mr. Moily said that he had continuously been following up the issue of new line with the State government as well as Ministry of Railways.
Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies and district in-charge Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao was present.