Land acquisition issue threatens to derail rail terminal project

The Naganahalli Railway Terminus which is critical to handling additional trains to and from Mysuru is set for a derailment due to delay in the land acquisition process.

Though the project was envisaged to be completed by 2024 and included as a priority project by the Railway Board, the work is yet to get started.

The project was mooted to increase the capacity of the Mysuru station to handle additional trains and in its absence the full benefits of track doubling and electrification by way of running additional trains on the Mysuru-Bengaluru section will not materialise.

In the interim, the Railway Board has sanctioned the yard remodeling of the Ashokapuram Railway Station to create additional stabling lines so as to overcome capacity constraints of Mysuru station. It will be taken up at a cost of ₹15.71 crore.

There is also a proposal for additional stabling line at Belagola on the outskirts of the city where some of the long distance trains can be shunted once their primary or secondary maintenance have been completed at the pit lines in Mysuru.

However, Naganahalli Terminus is critical for the long-term growth and development of the railways and the local economy. Though Mysuru MP Pratap Simha has sought funds to get the projected started, the key issue is land acquisition which is entirely in the domain of the State Government.

The railway authorities have sent reminders to the State Government on the imperatives of expediting the land acquisition exercise, but there reminders have been greeted by silence.

Sources said the project could be frozen and put in the backburner in case the uncertainty prolonged. Railway officials in their letter to the State Government have stated that apart from introduction of new trains and improving connectivity to and from Mysuru, the project will also help in the socio-economic development of the region.

The project will cost ₹494.79 crore in the first phase and the Railway Board on its part had sanctioned ₹19.99 crore for the financial year 2021-22 in anticipation of cost sharing by the State Government.

The project requires 165 acres of land in the first phase during which four platforms, four pit lines and 8 stabling lines is envisaged. The second phase was expected to see the construction of another two platforms all of which would complement the existing six platforms in Mysuru city.

The project was originally mooted in 2007-08 and received administrative nod in 2018 with the timeline for completion set for 2024. But the onset of the pandemic and the financial constraints of the State Government may not see the project materialising in the near future.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 1:59:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/land-acquisition-issue-threatens-to-derail-rail-terminal-project/article37719356.ece

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