Line doubling work only after discussions: Muniyappa

Special Correspondent

CHICKABALLAPUR: Union Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa on Monday said the line doubling work between Chickaballapur and Sidlaghatta would be taken up only after making alternative arrangements for the families to be displaced by the project.

Dispelling fears that around 500 families living at Ambedkarnagar in Chickaballapur would be displaced, Mr. Muniyappa said that 100 buildings would be demolished and land acquired for line doubling work. According to the survey report, 57 houses, six huts, two temples, a school and a library would be demolished, the Minister said after inspecting the project area at Ambedkarnagar on Monday evening.

Decision on re-loation

The authorities would discuss and decide whether a deviation could be provided to proposed railway line or re-locate Ambedkarnagar to another area, he said.

A meeting of officials from the Railways, Chickaballapur district administration and leaders from Ambedkarnagar would be held shortly.

Mr. Muniyappa said the Ambedkarnagar residents had constructed houses on the land belonging to the Railways and had been living there for many decades.

The civic authorities had provided water connections and other amenities to these houses without ascertaining ownership of the land and, the poor residents could not be blamed for it.

The Minister said the proposed line doubling, in the long run, would pave the way for the development of Chickaballapur. Divisional Railway Manager Akhil Agarwal, Chief Engineers Lal Das and Balakrishnan, Chickaballapur MLA K.P. Bache Gowda, Sidlaghatta MLA V. Muniyappa and Chickaballapur Deputy Commissioner Anwar Pasha accompanied the Minister.

The residents of Ambedkarnagar have been holding a series of agitations for the last one month to protest against the line doubling work.