Centre may chip in with 80% of funds for suburban rail

Centre may chip in with 80% of funds for suburban rail

The state government can look forward to an increase in central funds for the suburban railway project with Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation D V Sadananda Gowda stating that the Centre was ready to negotiate the 80:20 equity model.

Gowda told reporters after flagging off the Yeshwantpur–Howrah Humsafar Express on Thursday, “The Centre is open to negotiations on cost sharing. Being a leader who represents Bengaluru in the Lok Sabha, I want this project to be expedited,” he said.

During a formal programme to sign a memorandum of agreement with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on January 16, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said the state government cannot afford to share 80% of the project cost and the Railways should share land acquisition costs.

Gowda, however, hinted that the Centre would not share the land acquisition costs. “Even in the previous 50:50 equity model, the expenditure on land was not included as it was left to the state governments,” he said.

B’luru-Coimbatore train
The former railway minister said an inter-city train between Bengaluru and Coimbatore was on track and the government has drawn up a timetable for it. In addition, two new trains — between Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar; and Bengaluru and Sri Ganganagar (Rajasthan) — will be introduced soon.

The minister informed that speed trials of Hassan–Mangaluru double line by Commissioner of Railway Safety will be conducted in the first week of February and the line will be ready for commissioning by the end of February.

To a question, Gowda said the National Investigating Agency was probing the Hirakhand Express tragedy and reasons for the accident will be known soon. He said the Railways will take more steps to ensure safety of passengers.
DH News Service

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