Railway budget: Bumper for Kodagu, Chikmagalur
Mamata’s gift: Political parties busy in grabbing credit
The long pending demand of the citizens of Kodagu may be realised with the Union Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee proposing a survey for the Mysore-Madikeri- Mangalore railwayline.
A survey on rail connectivity to Kodagu had been conducted several years ago. However, the survey report had stated that the proposed railway route will incur loss instead of fetching revenue. As a result, the Railways dropped the proposal of providing rail connectivity. In fact, former Union Minister of State for Railways R Velu had also stated the same reason. He had promised to provide rail connectivity from K R Nagar to Kushalnagar.
The announcement of Mysore-Madikeri-Mangalore railwayline and survey for the Mysore-Kushalnagar-Madikeri railwayline has brought smile on the face of tourists and coffee growers. To provide air connectivity, government had identified Byadagotta near Kushalanagar. However, after the survey, the expert team had stated that the land is not suitable for airport. As a result, the proposal to provide air connectivity to Kodagu was dropped. Now the announcement of the Centre has brought in a ray of hope among the people.
Kodagu grows highest coffee in the sate. India produces 3 lakh tonne coffee. Of which, one lakh tonne comes from Kodagu. The coffee fetches Rs 2,500 crore as foreign exchange. The rail connectivity will help in transporting coffee to Mangalore or Bangalore.
At present, coffee is transported through container to Kochi or Bangalore. To transport coffee to Kochi in one container, one has to spend Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000 to transport to Bangalore. If it is transported through rail, then the transportation cost will be reduced, says coffee entrepreneur P K Devaiah. Moreover, Kodagu is known as the Kashmir of South India and Switzerland of India.
There is a plenty of opportunity for the growth of tourism. The introduction of train will surely increase the number of visitors. The citizens of Kodagu depend on Mysore and Mangalore for health service, and higher education.
The introduction of train service between Mysore-Madikeri-Mangalore will help the people to go to Mysore for health care and education. It will also help the students to commute between Mangalore or Mysore.
Rail connectivity will also increase the employment opportunities. Kodagu do not have any mega industries. As a result, the people migrate to cities in search of jobs.
MP thanks Banerjee
MP H Vishwanath thanked Union Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee for announcing railway line between Mysore-Madikeri-Mangalore and the survey for the Mysore-Kushalnagar-Madikeri railwayline. Speaking to Deccan Herald from New Delhi, he said “keeping in mind the tourism potentials in Kodagu district, the Central government has announced rail connectivity. The project will be implemented on the basis of 50:50 sharing by state and centre.”