'Tracks' still not cleared for gauge conversion

'Tracks' still not cleared for gauge conversion

Bus is the only mode of transport to reach Chikkaballapur

leading to nowhere: The track in the Kolar railway station leading to Chikkaballapur has been blocked. The gauge conversion work on this line has come to a standstill. DH PhotoIt is becoming inevitable for them to wait for a long time as the situation has not changed.

The reason - the process for rail gauge conversion between the two cities is still not smooth.

Though it looks very simple,  the task of gauge conversion between the two cities, due to delay in land acquisition process the work has been mired in controversy.

Union Railway Minister K H Muniyappa who is an MP from Kolar met Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Wednesday in this regard and sought his cooperation.

In the meeting held in Vidhana Soudha he said that the State government was not responding to the Railway department projects.

At the top level meeting of the railway department and State Government officials, he said, in order for the railways to complete the projects fast, land acquisition, permission from various organisations and release of grants, should be expedited. The State government should cooperate and extend assistance, he added.

In 12 districts of the South Western Railway, the district administrations are not processing 40 applications which it had submitted, said Muniyappa.

In a few places the applications have been stalled for nine years. It is noteworthy that the railway work in the district represented by Muniyappa has also remained incomplete.

The gauge conversion work on the Chikkaballapur line has been going on for a few years. It looks like bus is the only mode of transport to Chikkaballapur which is at a distance of 50 km.

Not processed

In 15 districts, land acquisition process for the railway projects has been in controversy. Only 8.70 acres of land has to be acquired for the Kolar-Chikaballapur gauge conversion project.  

For that the department which has submitted ten applications to the State Government has not been processed.

Likewise, even in Chikkaballapur where the department has submitted two applications to acquire 2.98 acres of land have not been processed.  

When Railway Minister Muniyappa pointed out that in order to develop Chikkaballapur railway station into a model station those who are going to be displaced have to be given proper compensation for which an action plan has to be drawn, Chief Minister Yeddyurappa is said to have assured that free houses will be constructed outside the railway station premises, said the sources.

The minister urged in the meeting that in order to implement the railway projects fast, the district administration should at least hold meetings once in a month.

Keeping this in mind, the Kolar district administration should also hold meetings in which gauge conversion and other major railway projects are discussed.