SWR budget shows greater push for electrification

SWR budget shows greater push for electrification

A greater thrust for electrification and modest support for ongoing projects were seen as the silver lines of the allocation to the South Western Railway from the Union government, which also sanctioned a new line between Belagavi and Dharwad (73 km) and two doubling works.

A sum of Rs 501 crore has been pumped into the ongoing work on five railway lines, including Tumakuru-Rayadurga, Gadag-Wadi and Shivamogga-Ranebennur. 

Seven doubling works have received a shot in the arm with Rs 973 crore. Also, the Rs 101 crore funds for Whitefield quadrupling has come as a major boost.

However, there was a disappointment on the token grant of Rs 5 crore each for doubling of two lines – Byappanahalli-Hosur and Yashwantpur-Channasandra – that will help the Bengaluru division to run more local trains without waiting for the full-fledged suburban rail project.

Railway officials, however, noted the two key lines have not received much support due to the state government’s stand that the work shall be taken up by K-RIDE, the special purpose vehicle which will build the suburban rail.

Further, activists welcomed the sanctioning of Rs 496 crore for automatic block signalling work on SWR, Western and Central Railway zones but questioned the absence of Bengaluru-Tumakuru and Bengaluru-Mandya sections.

“The proposed Automatic Signalling systems for Yashwantpur-Yelahanka, Bangalore-Jolarpet, Bengaluru-Dharmavaram and Bangalore-Jolarpet sections is welcome. But the congested lines to Tumauru and Mysuru should have been included,” said Urban transport activist Sanjeev Dyamannavar.

Importance has been given for safety with Rs 830 crore set aside for track renewals and another Rs 1,013 crore for improving communication systems.

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