Today's Paper

Two rail lines to benefit pilgrims

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Ministry of Railways has assured the State Government that it will complete the Hassan-Shravanabelagola and Sakleshpur-Subrahmanya railway lines by December 30 for the benefit of devotees attending the Mahamastakabhisheka on February 6.

Speaking to presspersons, Minister for Public Works and Power H.D. Revanna said he has discussed the projects with Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and the Chairman of the Railway Board.

About the 48-km Sakleshpur-Subrahmanya rail line, he said he has spoken to the Chief Engineer in charge and urged him to initiate measures to safeguard the track against landslips. The Railway Ministry has sanctioned Rs. 90 crores for the Rs. 134-crore project in the past three years. The rest of the funds required will be contributed by the State Government, he added.

Mr. Revanna, who is the Minister in charge of Hassan district, said the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Board will commission a water supply project worth Rs. 13 crores in Shravanabelagola. Asphalting of roads and restoration of power lines damaged during the recent rains will be completed by December, he added.

Asked about restoration of roads damaged during the rainy season, Mr. Revanna said executive engineers and superintending engineers in the Public Works Department have been directed to repair 749 bridges on over 17,000 km of State highways at a cost of Rs. 59 crores. Potholes on 36,000 km of major district roads will be filled under the State highway maintenance package, he added.

He said only Rs. 80 crores has been allocated for the Public Works Department in the budget compared with Rs. 225 crores in 2004-05.

It will be difficult to provide funds for repair works, and he has urged the Finance Minister to allocate an additional Rs. 300 crores, he added.

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