Will NR Pura get train service again?

Muniyappas assurance of railway connectivity to Sringeri brings new hopes

However, the recent proposal of Union Minister K H Muniyappa regarding railway connectivity to Sringeri has made the local people to dream the old charm.

A Tramway service was launched between Tarikere and NR Pura on May 15, 1917. (Tramway is a lightly laid railway for uses such as logging or mining). This passed via Tarikere, Lakkavalli, Hosalli, Tadasa before reaching NR Pura.

Besides, one more service commenced between Tadasa and Hebbe on February 5, 1921. There was another line between Tadasa bridge and Maridibba, but it was cancelled in 1949.

The distance between NR Pura and Tarikere was just 43 km. Now, one has to travel 68 km. It is said Sir M Visvesvaraya had plans to lay a railway track between Hebbe and Sringeri.

In the meantime, Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Ltd (VISL) established in Bhadravathi laid a Tramway line to transport charcoal from the region. The goods train used to connect Bhadravathi Junction, Kanagalasara, Maridibba, Nelagadde, Kodihalli, Muttinakoppa and Aramballi. With this route, Bhadravathi was at a distance of just 22 km. The train used to transport even firewood and logs. There was a railway station at Muttinakoppa.

When industries started using coal n 1970s, the train service too stopped. The Centre had been appealed to use this track for passenger trains, instead of the track submerged in 1959. But it was not realised due to the lack of political will.

The VSIL removed the tracks in 1980s. Experts are of the view that this is the best route if the government is intended to lay the tracks again, since the line has already got the permission of the Central government as well as the Forest Department.

Laying tracks is the only work left here. The task now is to construct a new route from NR Pura to Sringeri.

Proposal sent

Speaking to Deccan Herald, State Planning Commission member Dr G S Mahabala said Union Minister of State for Railway K H Muniyappa is willing to provide railway connectivity to Sringeri.

A proposal of 85 km railway track from Sringeri to Bhadravathi has been sent. Even the Chief Minister is  interested in it, he informed.

Malnad’s development

JD(S) State Vice President H T Rajendra said a proposal had been sent to the Centre when Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister.

He had even allocated money for a survey. But those who came to power after him, did not show any interest in this. This track certainly contributes for the development of Malnad if realised. It does not pose any threat to environment also. It may not cost high for even survey.

There is not requirement of Forest consent. Hence, the route via Tarikere-NR Pura-Sringeri is the most convenient one, he explained.

State government’s Chief Whip D N Jeevaraj said the Chief Minister has written to the Railway Minister Mamatha Bannerjee regarding the proposal. MP D V Sadananda Gowda is also interested. If political will works on the right direction, the dream may come true without much delay.

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