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State to share cost of all on-going rly projects

Karnataka agrees to foot 50 per cent of the bill
Last Updated : 10 November 2010, 18:38 IST
Last Updated : 10 November 2010, 18:38 IST

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The Government will share 50 per cent cost of all non-cost sharing railway projects (without the financial support of the State) and cost sharing will be done based on the present status of these projects.

For instance, if the Railways has already completed 20 per cent of a project, the remaining 80 per cent cost will be borne equally by the State and the Railways in coming days.

Presently, the Railways is implementing four projects without the support of the State. They are: Bangalore-Hassan, Kadur-Chikmagalur (both new lines), Arasikere-Birur (doubling) and Kolar-Chikkaballapur (gauge conversion). These projects have suffered delays, mainly due to paucity of funds.

The Government and the Railways have already jointly taken up six railway projects under the cost sharing system in the State. Besides, the Government has proposed four other projects to the Railways to be taken up under the same system.

Bangalore-Hassan line (166 km), for instance, has been delayed by nearly 15 years. The project was sanctioned in 1996 when H D Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister. But the Railways is still in the process of land acquisition. This new railway line has been proposed to pass through Shravanabelagola, Yediyur, Kunigal and Nelamagala.

The project will not only ensure a direct link to Mangalore, but reduce the distance to the coastal city by about 40 km. The Kadur-Chikmagalur line (93 km) too was sanctioned in 1996, but the work is yet to take off.

The Kolar-Chikkaballapur gauge conversion, which has been delayed by five years, is expected to help the development of backward Kolar district as the line will connect to the Bengaluru International Airport, officials said.

 “The State badly needs a good railway network to boost its economy. Though a number of new projects have been taken up, there has been delay in their implementation especially those completely financed by the Railways. Hence, the Government decided to extend a helping hand to the Railways by way of sharing the cost. We hope that the four projects will now be completed in next two years,” Infrastructure Development department Principal Secretary V Madhu said.

Karnataka is lagging far behind other states as far as railway connectivity is concerned. The State has 3,250 km of railway network, as against 4,131 km in Tamil Nadu and 5,172 km in Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, the State has average 16 km of railway line per 1,000 sq km, as against 32 km in Tamil Nadu and 20 km in Andhra Pradesh. The national average is 20 km.

Burden

The Government, sources said, has to bear a burden of estimated Rs 300 crore by its move to share the cost of the four non-cost sharing projects. The State has set aside Rs 600 crore for railway development in 2010-11 budget, including ongoing and proposed projects.

This apart, the Government has decided to provide land for the proposed railway projects free of cost. So far, the Railways used to acquire the land for all the projects.  “Land acquisition is another main reason for the delay. We want to clear this bottleneck too,” Madhu said.

Projects

* NCS to CS: Hassan-Bangalore (new line).
* Kadur-Chikmagalur (new line).
* Arasikere-Birur (doubling)
* Kolar-Chikkaballapur (gauge conversion)
 
* CS projects under implementation:  Sholapur-Gadag (gauge conversion)
* Shimoga-Talaguppa (gauge conversion)
* Bangalore-Mysore (doubling)
* Kottur-Harihar (new line)
* Munirabad-Raichur (new line)
* Bidar-Gulbarga (new line).

* Proposed CS projects
* Shimoga-Harihar
* Whitefield-Kolar
* Davangere-Tumkur
* Gadag-Haveri.
(Note: Non-Cost Sharing (NCS), Cost Sharing (CS)

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Published 10 November 2010, 18:38 IST

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