Kharge's wish list for Karnataka

11 out of 72 new trains to pass through State

Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday tried his best to give a bountiful to Karnataka by announcing new trains as well as funds for ongoing projects.

Of the 72 new trains announced in the budget, 11 would either originate from various stations in Karnataka or pass through the state. Of the 17 Jai Hind Expresses (premium trains) announced by the minister, four will connect Bangalore with other places.

Kharge, who hails from north Karnataka, did not betray aspirations of the people from his region. He announced many trains connecting Gulbarga and Hubli to Mumbai, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Pune and other places. Of the 19 new lines announced, five alloted to the state were mainly for north Karnataka.

Defending the allotments to north Karnataka, the minister said: “It will not only help in improving infrastructure facilities in backward regions of the state, but also increase overall railway network in Karnataka.”

While announcing passenger trains from Hubli to Belgaum and an inter-city train between Gulbarga and Hyderabad, Kharge fulfilled long-standing demands of the people of these regions. By announcing an express train from Varanasi to Mysore (bi-weekly) and Yesvantpur to Katra (Jai Hind train bi-weekly), the minister met a long-pending demand from pilgrims for direct trains to visit the Kashi Vishwanth temple in Varanasi and the Vaishnodevi hill shrine in Jammu.

For the first time in history, the state would get Rs 1,500 crore in 2014-2015 for ongoing projects. Of the Rs 1,500 crore, the Karnataka government has to give Rs 600 crore, while the rest will be borne by the Railways, Kharge said.

In order to complete the ongoing projects in Karnataka, a total of Rs 7,923.98 crore was required. Earlier, Karnataka used to get around Rs 600 crore every year. 

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