Minister for Railways M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said his Ministry and the Karnataka government have decided to pump in Rs. 300 crore each to speed up some ongoing railway projects in the state.
Mr. Kharge was speaking to presspersons after a review meeting on the progress of railway projects in Karnataka.
He said projects that were found feasible for speedy completion have been identified. “The time is less, we have just eight to ten months,” he said, indicating the impending Lok Sabha elections and the urgency behind completing the projects.
He said the Ministry had sanctioned Rs. 1,200 crore for various projects in the State in the 2013-14 Railway budget. Considering the slow pace of progress of several key projects, the Ministry has decided to sanction Rs. 300 crore more and the Karnataka government too has agreed to release an equal amount, Mr. Kharge said.
The 59 km Gadwal-Raichur new line, foundation stone for which was laid in 2002, will be commissioned in three months. Doubling and electrification of the line between Gulbarga and Hotagi on Gulbarga-Solapur line will be quickened to finish in two years, Mr. Kharge said. Work on doubling line between Dharwad and Tinaighat in Uttara Kannada will start shortly.
He asked the government to speed up land acquisition near Kunigal Stud Farm on the Bangalore-Hassan new line and sort out the lacunae. Similarly, work on Humnabad-Gulbarga stretch of the 104 km Bidar-Gulbarga new line would be speeded up, Mr. Kharge said.
Newly laid lines between Kadur-Chikmagalur and Kolar-Chickballapur will be commissioned soon, the Minister added.
Mr. Kharge said the Ministry would conduct a fresh study to examine the feasibility of creating a new railway division in Gulbarga and bringing it under South Western Railway (SWR).
“Studies conducted earlier showed creating a new division at Gulbarga was not feasible.
However, there has been consistent demand from the people; I had also fought for the new division,” he said.
As far as creating Mangalore Railway division and bringing it under either SWR or Konkan Railway Corporation, Mr. Kharge said its feasibility too would be examined.