Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal did not disappoint Karnataka as he sanctioned new trains and new tracks.
Bansal announced a number of schemes for the state and expedited some of the projects pending for years due to paucity of funds and delay in land acquisition and environmental clearances.
Taking into account Karnataka’s offer to provide free land and bear 50 per cent of the cost, Bansal announced resumption of work on the Chikmaglur-Sakleshpur and Bangalore-Satyamangalam lines. These projects had hit a roadblock for lack of resources and other mandatory clearances.
The Chikmaglur-Sakleshpur line will connect tourist destinations Belur and Halibedu, while the Bangalore-Satyamangalam line connects Kollegal and Kanakapura. “Once these two projects are completed, there will be a boom in tourism as both lines pass through several important destinations,” said railway board officials.
However, Bansal allocated only Rs 203 crore of the Rs 7,923.98 crore required for the projects. While the Hassan-Bangalore line via Shravanabelogola received Rs 80 crore, the Rayadurga-Tumkur line via Kalyandurga got Rs 70 crore. The Kadur-Chickmaglur-Sakleshpur project got Rs 10 crore.
The minister also announced nine new trains, most of them connecting Bangalore with other states. Though there was criticism that the new trains will benefit other states more than Karnataka, people in coastal Karnataka have reasons to celebrate with two weekly trains connecting Mangalore with Bangalore and Kachiguda in Hyderabad being announced.
Besides, routes of some trains starting from Bangalore and Mysore were extended. While the Hubli-Bangalore Express and the Dharbanga-Bangalore Express were extended to Mysore, the Yeshwanthpur-Nizamuddin Express was extended up to Chandigarh.
Bansal also announced a state of the art executive lounge at the Bangalore railway station. The lounge will have buffet meals, beverages, snacks, a business centre, TV sets, newspapers, magazines, separate dining areas for families, shopping and bathing facilities. Passengers have to pay to avail these facilities.
The minister announced setting up new lines along the Chickballapur-Gowribidanur, Chickballapur-Puttaparthy-Sri Satya Sai Nilayam, Gadag-Wadi and Srinivasapura-Madanapalli routes. Surveys proposed in 2013-14 include Tumkur-Maddur-Malavalli and Tumkur-Arsikere (doubling) and Shoranur-Mangalore 3rd Line. New DEMU services announced included the Bhatkal-Thokur route.
In Karnataka kitty
Rail Tourism: Executive lounge at Bangalore Station
National Skill Development Location: Mangalore
New line projects:
* Chickmagalur – Sakaleshpur
* Bangalore – Satyamangalam
Survey for new lines (2013-14):
* Tumkur – Maddur – Malavalli
* Tumkur – Arasikere
New lines under socio
* Chickkaballapur –Gowribidanur
* Chickkaballapur – Puttaparthy –Sri Satya Sai Nilayam
* Gadag – Wadi
* Srinivasapura – Madanpalli
New Express Trains:
* Bangalore – Mangalore
* Hubli – Mumbai Express (Weekly) via Miraj, Pune
* Madgaon – Mangalore
Intercity Express (Daily) via Udupi, Karwar.
* Mangalore- Kacheguda Express (weekly) via Dhone, Gooty, Renigunta, Coimbatore.
* Yeshwantpur – Lucknow Express (Weekly) via Rai bareli, Pratapgarh.
* Guwahati-Bangalore Weekly
* Nagerkoil-Bangalore daily
* Marikuppam – Bangalore
* Talguppa – Shimoga Town
* Bhatkal – Thokur
* Madgaon – Karwar
Extension of Trains
* Bagalkot- Yeshwantpur to Mysore
* Darbhanga – Bangalore to Mysore
* Hubli – Bangalore Exp. to Mysore
* M’lore – Tiruchirapalli Exp. to Puducherry
* Solapur – Yeshwantpur Exp to Mysore
* Yeshwantpur – H. Nizamuddin Sampark Kranti Express 2 days to Chandigarh
* Bangalore – Nagore Passenger to Karaikal
* Mysore – Shimoga Town passenger to Talguppa.
Increase in Frequency
* Yeshwantpur – H. Nizamuddin Sampark Kranti Express 2 to 4 days
* Bangalore – Tumkur – passenger 6 to 7 days.