State support sought to complete rail projects

Union Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa on Saturday assured that the Railways will complete all ongoing, cost-sharing railway projects in the State in five years time if the State government allocates its share of Rs 1,500 crore in the budget every year.

Besides sharing the cost of the project, the government is providing land free of cost. As many as 15 railway projects, including nine new lines, have been taken up on the cost-sharing basis (project cost being shared between the Railways and the State government), covering a total length of about 3,000 km.

The Railways will expedite the work and complete 500 km of new lines every year if the State government is ready to release its share of the cost, he told reporters.

The Minister, who reviewed the progress of railways projects said, to complete 500 km of new line work requires an estimated Rs 3,000 crore. The Railways has in its 2011-12 budget allocated Rs 387.19 crore to the State. "We (the Railways) are taking up the issue with the Planning Commission and are hopeful of getting an allocation of Rs 1,500 crore to the State in the next year’s budget," the Minister said.

The State government has, on its part, allocated Rs 478 crore for the cost-sharing railway projects in its 2011-12 budget.

Some of the cost-sharing projects are Ramanagar-Mysore (doubling work), Shimoga-Talaguppa, Solapur-Gadag (both gauge conversion), Bidar-Gulbarga and Kottur-Harihar (both new lines).

Presently, 31 railway projects, including 15 cost-sharing, have been taken up in the State.

The Minister said the work on Whitefield-Kolar, Tumkur-Davangere, Harihara-Shimoga, Gadag-Wadi and Kodachi-Bagalkot new line projects will be commenced soon after the government provides the required land.

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